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SINCE 1870 






AU rightt rtervsd 




• ■ » 


bt the maomillak company 

Set ap and electrotyped. FabUshed, Fcibraary, 1919 






The question of Alsace-Lorraine, one of the chief 
causes of the present war, is today one of the most im- 
portant obstacles to peace. It is by no means the only 
one, however, as many Gterman publicists, desirous of 
throwing upon France the burden of forci^ a continu- 
ation of hostilities, would have us believe. Grermany 
will cling to Alsace-Lorraine to the last. The present 
Kaiser said in 1888 : " It is my opinion . . . that 
we would rather leave our eighteen army corps and our 
forty-two million inhabitants dead upon the field of bat- 
tle than give up a single stone of the land conquered by 
my father and Prince Frederick Charles." From this 
pronouncement of 1888 to the famous "!N"ever!" of 
Von Kiihlman, uttered a few months ago, German sen- 
timent has never wavered: Alsace and Lorraine form 
the Heichsland, the Land of the Empire, and such they 
must remain. Yet, if the tide of battle turns, and if 
it seems to Germany unlikely that she will be allowed 
to hold the conquered proving, she may be willing to 
renounce her claim to what she considers indisputably 
hers, provided she be given compensatory advantages 
elsewhere.. Her right to hold Alsace-Lorraine or to bar- 
gain with the Allies on the basis of her present pos- 
session must be carefully weighed. It is hoped that 
this book may present some facts, as yet not readily ac- 
cessible to Americans, which will confirm the belief, 
generally felt in the United States, that lasting peace 


can be restored to Europe and the world only after the 
return of the lost provinces to France. 

Wherever German sources have been obtainable, they 
have been utilized, but the Germans have always in- 
sisted that there is no Alsace-Lorraine question and 
have, in writing of the Reichsland, rarely devoted their 
attention to those phases of the country's condition 
which bear upon the political and social problem be- 
fore us. 

At first sight it may seem that the author has pre- 
sented the French point of view, pure and simple, since 
the bibliography appended contains a great many French 
titles; but it will be noted that the final sources are 
largely German, and that the effort has been made here 
to condemn the conquerors " out of their own mouths.*' 
Many French books and articles have been used, chiefly 
for ihe quotations they furnish from newspaper and 
magazine articles unobtainable in America, in which 
Germans of consequence have expressed themselves 
with more freedom than in the formal propaganda liter- 
ature sent abroad to prove by mere declaration, without 
demonstration, the attachment of the two provinces to 
their self-appointed fatherland. 

^ The author has made every effort to verify scrupu- 
lously all the evidence he has accepted as valid. He 
has rejected much material which seemed unsupported 
by sufficient corroborative testimony. He does not pre- 
tend to have escaped error, for, where feeling runs high, 
it is practically impossible to avoid being misled occa- 
sionally by enthusiasts, who, unconsciously for the most 
part, cloud the truth. He is aware that he is more or 
less at the mercy of his sources ; but he has endeavoured 
to discriminate between them, and he has in all doubt- 
ful cases diosen to follow the more conservative. In 
particular, works of the venerable Alsatian, Professor 


Reuss, unimpeachably sound and written with admir- 
able sobriety, have been of constant value as a guide 
in matter and manner. 

It is with the greatest pleasure that the author ex- 
presses his gratitude to his friends Professor W. F. 
Giese and Professor Frederick A, Manchester, who have 
assumed the arduous task of seeing this book through 
the press. 

July, 1918. 


The absence of Captain Cerf in active service abroad 
not only accounts for our reading the proofs, but pos- 
sibly also for the survival of oversights such as would 
not have escaped a reader more familiar with the sub- 
ject. Sit venia . . . ! 

W. F. G. 
F. A. M. 




Oebmant's Claims to AlsacEtLorraine .... 1 

The Claims: I. Former Possesfiion; JJ. Natural Bound- 
ary; III. Race; rv. Language — Qermany'g Claim to 
Belgium and Switzerland — The'B^l JuatiBcationa: 
I. Military Necessity; II. Economic Necessity; III. 
The Pledge of Unity of the Empire. 

The Consent op the Governed 24 

The Assimilation of Foreign Populations — Alsace 
Happy and Prosperous under French Rule — The Revo- 
lution Consolidates the French Nation — The Protests 
of 1871 and 1874: Declaration in the National Assem- 
bly, Bordeaux, February 17, 1871; Protest of Bordeaux, 
March 1, 1871 ; Protest in the Reichstag, February 18, 
1874: Speech of Edouard Teutsch. 

Persecution: 1871-1914 ........ 44 

Constitutional Rights — Repression — The Teaching of 
French — Conciliation: Manteuffel, 1879-1885 — Blood 
and Iron: 1887-1901 — Pin-prKsks' and Scorpions: 
1901-1914 — The Zabem Affair: 1913. 


The Question op Autonomy 61 

Discouragement: 1887-1900; Request for Autonomy — 
Renascence: 1900; Demand for Autonomy — Germany 
Did Not Dare Grant Autonomy — A Final Effort for 



The Failure of Germanization . . . . . .77 

The Love for France — Antipathy of Alsatians and Im- 
migrants — Gallicization of Inmiigrants — The Alsa- 
tian Women — Germanization a Failure — Sterner 
Means of Germanization — The Alsatians are French. 

During the War 93 

Autonomy Not Sufficient Now — Alsatians in the 
French Army before 1914 — Alsace, Enemy Country; 
Treatment of Alsatian Soldiers; Treatment of Civil- 
ians; Condemnations; Protests in the Reichstag; 
Atrocities and Deportations. 

The Economic Question 119 

The Lorraine Iron — The Briey Basin — Annexation 
and the Next War — German Industrial Prosperity at 
Stake — German ' Economic Propaganda in Alsace be- 
fore the War — Alsatian Prosperity: The Reverse of 
the Medal — Taxation — Population — Strasbourg and 
the Rhine Traffic — Melz and the Iron District — Al- 
satian Industries — Textiles — If Alsace and Lorraine 
Had Remained French — Economic Persecution — Ger- 
manization of Property before the War — Germaniza- 
tion of Property since 1914 — The Consent of the Gov- 

The Question of a Plebiscite . . . ^ . . .162 

Difficulties in the Way of a Plebiscite — Germany's 
Preparation for a Plebiscite — Division or Neutraliza- 
tion — The Restoration of Alsace-Lorraine to France 
the Test of Victory. 

Conclusion 180 

Bibliography 181 




When Germany wrested Alsace-Lorraine from 
France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, she 
defended herself on four grounds: first, that the prov- 
inces belonged to her by right of former possession ; sec- 
ond, that the natural boundary between her and France 
was the Vosges; third, that the Alsatians were Germans 
by race; fourth, that the Alsatians were Germans by 

A brief examination of these contentions will show 
to what extent they may properly be invoked by Ger- 
many in justification of her action. 

Former Possession 

It is true that Alsace-Lorraine did not alWiyli lorm a 
part of France, but the incorporation of portions of this 
territory in the French nation began as far back as 
1552, when Metz was ceded to Henry II by the German 
Protestant princes. 

German historians know, but they conveniently ignore 

the fact, that there was no Reichsland, no Elsass-Loth- 

ringen, before Prussia seized the country in 1871 ; there 



was no province Alsace, no province Lorraine until 
the mosaic of principalities, bishoprics, free cities, re- 
publics, seigniories, etc., which comprised the Imperial 
possessions on the west bank of the Ehine, was organized 
under French administration. Some parts of the coun- 
try were gained by what we should today call conquest, 
which was the universally accepted method of aggran- 
dizement at the time; one very important r^on came 
voluntarily into the French nation ^ ; in no part of the 
.country was there any serious resistance, and in no part 
of the country was there at any time from the moment 
of annexation any serious opposition to French govern- 
ment. There was a certain amount of friction, it is 
true, due almost exclusively to the natural indignation 
of the Protestant population of Alsace at thg^gressive 
tactics of French Catholics bent on cop^^ion. But 
whatever animosity existed resulted not at all from a 
feeUng that Germans were kin and French aliens, not 
at all from resentment at being torn from the Holy 
Roman Empire; it resulted, rather, from France^s en- 
croachment on their rights as independent entities under 
the vague sovereignty of an Emperor who remained far 
away and was utterly indifferent to their affairs, pro- 
vided the tribute was regularly paid into the Imperial 

During the time that Alsace was under the sway of 
the Empire she was the battl^round of Europe. The 
Empire's hold was tenuous indeed, never extending to 
the point of protecting the land against the successive 
incursions of Armagnacs, English, Burgundians, Aus- 
trians, Hungarians, Spaniards, Swedes. France prom- 
ised protection, prosperity, happiness, and kept her 
word until the tragic spoliation of 1871. 

1 As late as 1798, the little republic of Mulhouse, a member of 
the Swiss confederation since 1466, asked and obtained admittance 
into the French Republic. 


Qermanj never possessed Alsace-Lorraine. The land 
was within the confines of the Holy Roman Empire;^ 
but so were Holland^ Belgium and Switzerland. The 
dominion of the Emperor over all this territory was 
merely nominal at best^ illusory in f act, since he did not 
guarantee protection^ the first duty of a suzerain. The 
people looked upon themsdves as citizens of their local 
UQit, free city, bishopric, seigniory, and they never con- 
sidered themselves Germans, subjects of an Austrian 

It was without justification that William, King of 
Prussia in .1870, claimed the heritage of the Holy 
Boman Empire. If anything as unsubstantial as the 
Holy Koman Empire, ^' a piece of antiquarianism 
hardly more venerable than ridiculous,'^ as Lord Bryce 
said of ity can be inherited, certainly it should have 
fallen to Austria, as Austrian historians have main- 
tained, since it was, if it was the heritage of anybody, 
the heritage of the Hapsburgs. During the last four 
hundred years of its existence, the Empire had been 
ruled by Hapsburgs, with only two exceptions : Charles 
VII of Bavaria (1742-1745) and Francis I of Lor- 
raine (1745-1765).^ It had long outlived reality when 
it breathed its last gasp in 1806. Bismarck resuscitated 

s Despite the present alliance, relations between G^eimany and 
Austria have never been su<^ that the latter has been able to for- 
give entirely the humiliation of 1866. There may be some recol- 
lection of the added humiliation of 1S70, when the Austrian Holy 
Roman Empire was unceremoniously supplanted by a Prussian Holy 
Roman Empire, in the following sentence of the letter addressed by 
the present Emperor Charles of Austria to his brother-in-law. 
Prince Sixtus of Bourbon, early in 1917: "I beg you to convey 
privately and unofficially to President Poincar^ tiiat I will sup- 
port by every means, and by exerting all my personal influence 
with my allies, France's just claims regarding Alsace-Lorraine.'' 

(Letter communicated to President Poincar^ 1^ Prince Sixtus on 
March 31, 1917; made public by the French Foreign Office on April 

10, 191S; reprinted in Current HUtory, May, 1&18, p. 193.) 


it in 1871, thereby proving himself to be a maker, not 
only of present and future history, but also of past 
history. The Holy Roman Empire was German when 
" German ^^ meant "Austrian." Suddenly in 1866 
Austria was driven out of Germany and " German " 
came to mean " Prussian," or something very similar. 
Then Bismarck, with an effrontery which seems to have 
hoodwinked the world, placed the crown of the long- 
since defunct Austrian Holy Koman Empire upon the 
Prussian head of William I. 

Germans, with their customary confidence in the au- 
thority of a German ipse dixit, still really believe in the 
substantiality of the necromancy by which a dead Aus- 
trian Empire became a living German (or Prussian) 
Empire. But occasionally an independent dares to 
kick over the traces of sacred G«rman-made tradition 
and give the lie to Treitschke and Sybel. Such for in- 
stance is Maximilian Harden, the enfant terrible of 
Pan-Germanism, who declared only the other day: 
" What the Chancellor said about the history of Alsace- 
Lorraine is not true. The Germanic Empire \_i.e., Oer- 
manic- Ay^trian]y composed as it was of countries in- 
habited by Celts, Germans and Frenchmen, had nothing 
in common with ours." ^ (Quoted by the Literary Dir 
gest, March 9, 1918, p. 20.) 

> Gothein, Deputy in the Reichstag, wrote in 1910 that the his- 
tory of Alsace up to 1648 " is not such as to preserve brilliant mem- 
ories in the minds of the population nor the sentiment of solidarity 
with Germany.'^ (Quoted by Eccard in Revue politique et parle- 
mentcAre, v. 66, 1910, p. 318.) 

German socialists, such as Bebel and Liebknecht, protested till 
their death against the cynical iniquity of 1870. German demo- 
crats of today have laughed to scorn their country's claim to Al- 
sace-Lorraine. The following rteum^ ends an article which ap- 
peared in their organ, the Freie Zeitung, published in Switzerland: 

" It is, therefore, established: 

" 1. That Alsace and Lorraine were not filched by France. They 
passed like so many other lands, from one dynasty to another, at 


Germany has, then, on historical grounds, by right of 
former possession, not the slightest claim to Alsace- 
Lorraine. The country was never German, and the 
people were never German citizens. 

a time when such a proceeding appeared perfectly natural, just as, 
for example, the Ticino was given to Switzerland. In those good 
old times men changed their nationality more easily than their 

" 2. So far as the question of races is concerned, Alsace belongs 
to no nation, for there are no longer pure races in the civilized 
world. Besides, the question of race has nothing to do with the 
political destinies of a country, as Switzerland proves. 

" 3. So far as the language is concerned, Alsace is in a peculiar 
situation. Just as the Alsatian is obliged to learn High German 
to be able to speak it, so he can learn French to be in a position, 
as he was formerly, to rise to the highest administrative and 
military ranks. Again, the question of languages plays no rOle 
in the political destinies of a people, and once more we cite Swit- 
zerland in this connection. 

"4. Alsace lived, with France and in France, the days of the 
proclamation of the Rights of Man, and profited therefrom. In 
consequence she became part and parcel of that country. The 
hearts of her inhabitants have become entirely French, for the 
very reason that to be French means to enjoy liberty, democracy 
and human dignity. 

" 5. The annexation of Alsace by Germany, in 1871, was a fla- 
grant violation of. the Rights of Man by a dynasty which has al- 
ways shown the greatest reluctance to grant such rights to its own 

" 6. Alsace desires to recover her freedom, and she will find that 
freedom only where she was bom, not where she has always been 
held in bondage. She wishes to return to her mother, to beautiful, 
to kindly France. Gladly will she turn her back to the sovereign 
and to &e subjects who have always acted like lords and masters 
in Alsace." (Quoted by Wetterl6, L* Alsace-Lorraine doit . . „ P. 

These Liberal Germans dififer from their compatriots in that they 
realize times have changed. The nineteenth century is not the 
seventeenth, and proceedings which " appeared perfectly natural *' 
then have in the nineteenth century " appeared perfectly natural " 
only in Pan-Germany. In the sev^iteenth century possession was 
underetood in quite a different manner from that prevailing in 
civilized countries today, when the rights of the population are 
paramount, as is tacitly confessed by Meyer's Konveraationa 
Lexicon, sixth edition, v. V, p. 733, article " Elsass-Lothringen ": 


Natural Boundary 

Germany daimed in 1870 that the natural boundary 
between her and France was the Vosges. It is, of 
course, indisputable that the natural boundary between 
central and western Europe is the Rhine. Csesar tells 
us that Gaul is bounded on the east by the Rhine, and 
for the first five centuries of the Christian era the Al- 
satians (Celts) found the Rhine the only safe barrier 
against the inevitable invasions of the German bar- 
barians. During the centuries of French administra- 
tion, the Rhine still served as a "natural boundary." 
Furthermore, the Germans at Frankfort in 1871 did not 
apply their doctrine of a natural barrier with great 
rigour: in certain localities they successfully claimed 
some slopes west of the crest of the Vosges. 

No one can take this Gterman plea seriously. The 
Vosges are the natural boundary between Alsace and 
France, the Rhine is the natural boundary between 
Alsace and Germany. The sole question to decide is 
whether Alsace is German or French. 



Wilser, in an article in the Cerdralblatt fiir Anthro- 
pologie, expresses the generally accepted view that the 

" How little the Imperial House of Hapsburg was willing to pre- 
serve the frontier-land for Germany was shown by the Treaty of 
March 20, 1617, by which it ceded its rights in Alsace to Spain. 
During the thirty years' war, Duke Bemhard of Weimar tried to 
found a principality for himself in Alsace. He tried to do this 
with the help of lYench support and of French money. When he 
died prematurely, in 1639, Alsace fell into the hands of the French, 
and by the Peace of Westphalia in 164S the Emperor ceded all his 
rights in Alsace to "France, which thus took the place of Spain." 


safest ethnic sign is the shape of the skull. Banke^ in 
Der Mensch, declares that one of the most important 
discoveries of prehistoric craniology and archeology 
is that of the Germans Ecker and Lindenschmidt, who 
showed that the early Teutons all had dolichocephalic 
skulls. On the other hand, the Celtic skull was brachy- 
cephalic. Blind has demonstrated that in Celtic times 
" Alsace was inhabited by a people of absolute ethnic 
purity, characterized by an exceedingly clear brachy- 
cephalisnu" His study of the ossuaries of the 13th, 
14th and 15th centuries shows that up to this time there 
is no' change, and he condudiBS that the race is still eth- 
nically pure. Investigations of Blind, Schwalbe and 
others have proved that the Alsatian skull of today is 
"pronouncedly brachycephalic," even more so, perhaps, 
than that of the earliest known Celtic inhabitants of 
Alsace. The colour of hair and eyes shows, too, a de- 
cided predominance of the non-German types. (Ba- 
tiffol, in Bevibe hsbdonuidaire, February 9, 1918.) 

Thus German professors have shown by one of their 
nation's favourite sciences that there is no foundation 
for Germany's ethnic claim to Alsace. The admixture 
of Teutonic blood, due to invastion and immigration, 
has not in the slightest .degree modified the pure Celtic 
strain in France's lost province. 



The reluctance of Americans to demand the restora- 
tion of Alsace-Lorraine to France is based very largely 
on the feeling that a common language is a natural bond 
of union. 

Theobald Ziegler, professor at the University of 
Strasbourg, a Pan-German of the most pronounced type. 


says in Die Grenzboten, March, 1915, p. 393 : " What 
makes a nation . . . ? Not the feeling of race, nor the 
consciousness of belonging to the same stock, which is 
often lost in the uncertainty and obscurity of history ; 
not the native soil, which may remain, even when a 
piece is transferred from one people to another as in 
the case of Alsace ; not the language — one has only to 
think of Switzerland where three languages are spoken ; 
not even a community of purpose, for this even a cor- 
poration possesses ; — not any of these, but two centur- 
ies of history lived in common with the great nation of 
France have made Alsatians and Lorrainers French- 

If the Germans really believed in their criterion of 
language as a determining factor in nationaUty, they 
would restore North Schleswig, which they seized in 
1866, to Denmark, they would restore to Poland the 
millions of Poles whom they hold in subjection, and they 
would invite Austria to cede Trent and Trieste to Italy. 

Just as (Germany interpreted the historic claim and 
the claim of a natural boimdary to suit herself, so she 
applied the linguistic criterion: in parts of Alsace and 
in most of Lorraine the language of the people was 
French. Metz, the great city of Lorraine, had liirough- 
out all its history been entirely French, and when it was 
seized in 1871 it was as French as Paris. Germany 
took what she wanted; her only justification was the 
might of the sword. 

In the greater part of Alsace the masses speak a 
German dialect ; we shall see in a moment that they are 
not for that reason German. 

A German professor of political economy said in 
1900 : " [In Alsace] the rural population speaks Ger- 
man, except in the upper valley of the Bruche and in 
some localities in the higher Vosges. German is the 


language of the lower middle-class in the cities (the 
petUe bourgeoisie). The upper middloKdass in the 
cities and the notables in die whole country prefer 
French, without giving up the dialect entirely, for they 
are obliged to use it in tiieir relations with llieir serv- 
ants and workmen," (Wittich, p. 782.) 

So in Alsace all men of consequence prefer French. 
Furthermore, many stories ate told of the pathetic 
efforts of humble Alsatian labourers to learn French, 
but it is practically impossible for them to do so, since 
for almost fifty years now it has been strictly forbidden 
to teach French in the elementary schools. 

Even despite this proscription, ke number of people 
speaking French in Alsace — of course there is no ques- 
tion of Lorraine, where the vast majority of the people, 
high and low, speak French — has steadily increased. 
A German writer, Karl Franzos, in a volume published 
in 1904, says: 

" According to a census taken in 1866, during the 
reign of Napoleon III, a third of the population of 
Strasbourg could speak and write French; a second 
third could not write it but understood it and spoke it, 
at least a little; the remaining third used the dialect 

" People who are thoroughly acquainted with the 
present population, among others public officials and 
professors who ought to know, have affirmed to me that, 
so far as the indigenous inhabitants are concerned, these 
figures have been radically modified. 

"Among the old Alsatians [that is, people bom in 
Alsace, as distinguished from German Immigrants], 
who form seven-twelfths of the population, no longer 
a third but a half speaks and writes French. In the 
haH which does not know how to write it, one person 
out of two understands it at least, imperfectly per- 


haps, but suflS^ciently to be able to express himself. 
Only a fourth of the indigenous population is completely 
ignorant of French. 

^^ Some people have thought that this phenomenon 
is not a reason for grief. But if you reflect that French 
is not taught in the schools and that this development 
has taken place during a generation of German domina- 
tion, you will find in this fact ample matter for reflec- 
tion.''* (Quoted by Florent-Matter, p. 193.)* 

Official German figures corroborate this evidence of 
Alsace's determination to remain French in the face 
of {Persecution. In 1895, 159,532 declared their ma- 
ternal language to be French; in 1900 the number had 
leaped to 199,433, a gain of almost 40,000 in five years. 
And let it not be forgotten that these figures are cer- 
tainly far below the truth, for a declaration of a prefer- 
encefor French immediately stamped a man as rebel- 
lious to German rule.** 


*"A fact inBufficiently known," writes a correspondent of the 
Gazette de Lctwsanne, sent into Alsace in January, 1914, " is that, 
despite all insidious opposition, French is gaining in all the im- 
portant cities, especially Strasbourg. Its domain is little by little 
spreading downward from the middle classes, which cultivate it 
still more out of a spirit of opposition than out of respect for 
tradition, to the people, as rapidly as ease and comfort come to 
them." (Quoted by Dauzat in Revue politique et parlementaire, 
V. 88, 1916, p. 352.) 

On the necessity of using caution in connection with German 
linguistic statistics concerning Alsace-Lorraine, see Meuriot in 
Journal de la 8ooi4t4 de 8tatiatique de Paris, 1914, p. 463. 

Official figures for the number of inhabitants whose maternal 
language is French are as follows: 

1895 159,532 

1900. 199,433 Gain 1895-1900 38,901 

1905 200,220 Gain 1900-1906 787 

1910 204,262 Gain 1906-1910 4,042 

The years 1895-1900 were years of discouragement in Alsace- 
Lorraine, when it seemed as if the resistance of the provinces had 
been brokei^. There seemed to be no harm at this time in telling 


The Jownwl de Oeneve comments as follows on the 
phenomenon which so saddened the good (German, 
Franzos : 

^^ Either the French populations are more prolific than 
the others or the childrisn of German origin are ab- 
sorbed in the French melting-pot to the extent of for- 
getting the language of their fathers. The first hypothe- 
sis is scarcely admissible ; we are, therefore, in presence 
of the phenomenon described by the famous saying: 
Oraecta capta ferocem victorem cepit. The Alsatians 
are not becoming Oermans, the Germans are becoming 
Alsatians." (Quoted by Florent-Matter, p. 194.) ® 

In Alsace, then, French is still the language of the 
leading classes; and even the German Immigrants, or 
rather their children, are swelling the number of those 
speaking French. 

The lower class speak a German dialect. But they 
are not German, they never were Germans before they 
were won by conquest in 1870, they are French, they 
endeavour by every means to learn the French language, 
they have no love for Germany, and they demand now 

the truth, or something Uke the truth. But the comments in 
Germany and abroad on the increase of 38,901 in five years showed 
the authorities they had made a mistake, and the gain fell, accord- 
ingly* to 787 for the years 1900-1906. It happens that an in- 
tense revival of pro-French feeling, which increased to the day 
war was declared, began about 1900, as we shall see later. There 
cannot be the slightest doubt, despite the official figures, that if 
the increase was 40,000 from 1895 to 1900, it was much more than 
787 for the period 1900-1905. 

It seems certain that the census-takers put down in the German 
column all those who could speak Gennan at all, even though th^ 
knew French much better. 

6 " It was our experience in Miilhausen to walk into the Bourse 
and find three hundred men — well-to-do Germans to all appear- 
ance and with German names — transacting their vociferous busi- 
ness all in French. The use of French in common life is advanc- 
ing downward in spite of and largely because of official pressure 
in the other direction.*' (Jordan, p. 65.) - 


that they be allowed to return to the French father- 

" The propagators of the French genius in Alsace 
are first of all the notables . . . but also the lesser bour- 
geois of the cities, at least those who have had some 
education. (By far the most important social category 
in Alsace is formed by the lesser bourgeois of the cities, 
to whom correspond in the country the middle-class and 
lesser farmers.) The peasants and the workers in the 
factories remained, it is true, German in language and 
customs, but saw in French civilization the civilization 
of the world, and remained completely separated from 
the development of the German national genius." 
jr Wittich . pp. 785-789.) 

' Thus a professor of political economy at the German 
University of Strasbourg, who knows Alsace thoroughly 
and has made one of the most profound studies yet pub- 
lished on the conflict of nationalities within that prov- 
ince, declares explicitly that not only the higher classes 
who have always been admittedly French, but all classes, 
high and low, whether they speak German or French, 
are at heart French, feel themselves at home in an at- 
mosphere of French civilization, under French institu- 
tions, and look upon German Kultur as something alien. 

Wittich continues : " Today the Alsatians must re- 
trace their steps on the road with great difficulty trav- 
ersed, must ^ de-Gallicize ' themselves and develop to the 
maturity of the modern German intellectual culture a 
feeble and antique Germanism which has remained in 
tjipm in embryonic fonn. It is extremely difficult to 
accomplish this, and a considerable extent of time is 
Inecessary, as well as an inclination to do it, which up 
[jp the present has been lacking." (Wittich, p. 806.) 

The fact is that speaking German has not made the 
Alsatians German. Hostility to Germany since 1870 


has been most violent, not in French-speaking Lorraine^ 
but in German-speaking AlsaceJ 

The great Alsatian artists, Hansi and Zislin, both of 
whom were constantly persecuted by the German author- 
ities for their pro-French tendencies, both of whom are 
serving under the French flag today, wrote in the Alsa- 
tian German dialect, and their supporters were the com- 
mon people of Alsace, the German-speaking popula- 
tion. Zislin was before the war the editor of Dui^s 
Elsass, published in the Alsatian dialect and conse- 
quently expressing the political and social views of 

7 "The most persistent opposition to the Prussian r^ime now* 
appears in the districts most thoroughly Germanic by blood. It' 
centres especially in Ober-Elsass and in its chief cities of Colmar 
and Malhausen." (Jordan, p. 39.) 

A German editor said: ** German-speakinsr Lorraine is at heart | 
the most French and anti-German part of the province. . . . Up- | 
per Alsace [the part that is most exclusively German-speaking] 
is the most troublesome part." (Quoted by Jordan, p. 41.) 

The chief reason why Lorraine is less hostile to Germany than 
Alsace is to be ascribed to the relatively heavier immigration of 
Grermins into Metz and the industrial centres in the neighbour* 
hood, and to the wholesale emigration of influential citizens. 

The composition of the population of the three departments in 
1014 was as follows: 

Natives Germans Other foreigners 

Lorraine 72% 19.8% 8% 

Lower Alsace 88.6% 10.1% 1.3% 

Upper Alsace 90.3% 6% 3.6% 

The non-native population is, of course, concentrated in the 

cities. Percentage of natives in the four large cities is as follows: 

Colmar, 85%; Mulhouse, 80%; Strasbourg, 70%; Metz, 63%. 

(Meuriot, in Journal de la 8ooUt4 de Statistique de Paris, 1914, 

p. 460.) 

Lorraine, "decapitated" by the departure of its most capable 
citizens, — the exodus continued up to the eve of the war, — did not 
recover till 1908, when the vigour of Alsace's resistance inspired a 
similar movement in those very localities, Metz and Thionville, in 
which Immigrants had been most effectively planted, and which 
the government had looked upon as definitively (Germanized. ( See 
Braun, in Questions diplomatiques et coloniales, v. 30, 1910, pp. 
667 ff.) , , ! ^. ')■; l!<L^.ll.iU 


those wlio could not read the French newspapers and 
ma|2;azine8. Dur's Elsass was just as pro-French and 
anti-German as the law permitted. It was under con- 
stant surveillance and was frequently prosecuted by 
the authorities. In February, 1908^ it demanded au- 
tonomy for Alsace-Lorraine and took its stand with 
these words: "We say without hesitation^ and we 
repeat it to whoever cares to hear, every time we have 
an opportunity, that we are entirely destitute of those 
German sentiments which the Prussians would like to 
impose upon us." (Florent-Matter, p. 157.) 

The Alsatian populace speaks the language of Zislin's 
Dui^s Elsass and of Hansi's Professor KruUschke, and 
it proved by its support of these productions that it 
cherishes the attitude toward France and Germany 
therein expressed.® 

The i)opular theatre, too, gives an accurate indica- 
tion of the temper of the masses. The reception given 
to the plays produced in Alsatian-German at the " Al- 
satian Theatre " of Strasbourg and at the similar houses 
in Colmar and Mulhouse shows that Alsatians speak 
a Gterman dialect indeed, but that they have no love 
for their conquerors.* 

8 ''One of Zislin's cartoons in Duf^s Elaaaa drawn at the be- 
ginning of the Balkan War represents Austria as the ogre {* Kind- 
lifresser ') watching with smacking lips the play of three chil- 
dren — Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania. Dame Germany advises 
her not to bite: ' I ate two such once and I found them very bad 
for the digestion.*" (Jordan, p. 112.) See Hinzelin, pp. llOff. 
Striking cartoons from Dur^a Elaasa are reproduced in the various 
fascicles of Questions diplomaiiques et coUmiales. See, for in- 
stance, the cartoon by Zislin in volume 33, 1012, p. 444: a fat-faced 
little girl with Germania's crown on her head has been meddling 
with a bee-hive labelled " France " ; she is in flight before a swarm 
of aeroplanes issuing from the hive, and has dropped her parasol, 
on which is printed the word "Agadir." The legend is: "And 
that's how a bad little girl was punished! " 

9 In one of the plays of Stosskopf, a favourite writer, which had 
a tremendous success in Alsace, jyr Herr Maire, the Mayor who 


Colmar is in the heart of Oerman-speaking Alsaoe; 
furthermore, it nuinbers in its population a very large 
portion of Immigrants. According to the census of 
1910 there were in Colmar 34,480 Alsatians and 8,219 
Germans. But Colmar, despite all this, has been the 
centre of pro-French feeding in Alsace. 

is hoping to earn a decoration by his obsequious regard for au- 
thorities soliloquizes as follows: 

''I have been mayor for twenty-five years. ... I always at- 
tend the lectures on agriculture, I have always warmly recom- 
mended artificial fertilizer, I always politely salute the police, I 
never miss the official banquet on the birthday of the Emperor, I 
have bought two shares in the Erstein sugar refinery, I have al- 
ways worked for the government's candidate. {Aside) It is true 
I have never voted for him, but nobody can know that. . . . 
{Suddenly troubled) Has somebody in the opposition on the Mu- 
nicipal Coimcil defamed me to the Prefect? Can it have been 
learned that a second cousin of mine is a French officer ... or 
that I caught my rheumatism in the casemates of Strasbourg in 
1870 . . .?" 

In 1907, at the popular theatre in Strasbourg, Stosskopf pre- 
sented with great success his Hoflieferani, "Purveyor to the 
Court." The plot is as follows: 

A rich immigrant manufacturer of preserves, Fritz Grinsinger, 
is tormented by two ambitions: to be made purveyor to the King 
of Saxony, and to receive from the French government the " acad- 
emic palms." To obtain this last distinction he tries to pass as 
an Alsatian. But he is so clumsy, so chauvinistic in his protesta- 
tions of loyalty to Alsace, so noisy and generally unendurable that 
he rouses the suspicions of a scientist, who measures his skull. 
His is a skull from over the Rhine! Herr Grinsinger will never 
get the " academic pakns " ! 

In February, 1908, the censor suppressed a passage of a vaude- 
ville. The Refractory Couein, written for the popular stage in the 
Alsatian dialect, by an Immigrant, Gunther. The passage ran 
as follows: 

"There's no greater misfortune than when a German dies in 

" But yet that means one less! " 

" Sure! but all the relatives of the deceased hasten to the fu- 
neral, and when they are in Alsace, they never want to leave! " 

^anslations of the work of Erckmann and Chatrian, who were 
the commonly accepted interpreters of Alsatian life, and, bom in 
the lost provinces, passionately French, have been made for the 
dialect theatres. (Florent-Matter, pp. 208-209^ 


In 1914 and during the nine years preceding, Daniel 
Blumenthal was Mayor of Colmar, When war was 
declared, the elected mayor of Colmar, knowing that his 
name was at the head of the famous black-list of sus- 
picious persons who were to be arrested in the event of 
mobilization, fled, and after escaping many dangers suc- 
ceeded in reaching Switzerland, whence he passed over 
to France. While in Switzerland he learned from Ger- 
man newspapers that he had been shot; a fortnight 
later, just as he was leaving for Paris, he read in a 
German journal at Berne that he was interned in the 
fortress of Rastadt in Baden. (See BliXmenthal in 
Atlantic Monthly, January, 1918.) This is the man 
who was chosen mayor of one of the three great cities 
of Alsace by electors practically all of whom called 
German or the Alsatian German dialect their mother 
tongue ! 

Does speaking German prevent a people from being 
French ? That the linguistic argument is, in fact, neg- 
ligible is proved by the existence of German-speaking 
Alsace happy for centuries under French rule and re- 
bellious for fifty years under German rule. 

During their administration of two hundred years the 
French made no effort to replace German by French as 
the language of the Alsatian lower classes. They never 
felt the need of doing so ; they realized that Alsace was 
as French as Gascony and that the foreign dialect 
spoken by the untutored was not in any way an impedi- 
ment to complete absorption of the province into the 
French state. With the advantage of language on her 
side, and with the most tyrannical > proscription of 
French, Germany has not in fifty years made any ap- 
preciable advance toward gaining the goodwill of the 
Alsatian peasants: it is not language, but culture, that 
makes a people a part of a nation, as Ziegler confessed ; 


and Wittich expressly states that the culture of Alsace 
from top to bottom of the social scale is French, not 

Germany's claim to beix^ium and Switzerland 

The Germans claimed Alsace-Lorraine on the ground 
that it had formerly belonged to the Holy Roman Em- 
pire and that the population was German in race and 
language. Not even the maddest of them pretended 
that the Alsatians desited annexation. "In scorning 
the will of the Alsatians," said Treitschke in 1871, 
" we are following the dictates of Prussian honour." 

Switzerland was more closely than Alsace under the 
domination of the Holy Roman Empire and was form- 
ally detached at the same time with Alsace by the 
Treaties of Westphalia (1648). A large part of Swit- 
zerland is German in race and language. Why did 
Germany not seize Ziirich and Basel and Berne along 
with Alsace and Lorraine ? " We deign to suffer that 
Switzerland remain independent," said Treitschke in 

Germany deigned to suffer that Belgium remain in- 
dependent also, though her claim to Flemish Belgium 
was quite as good as her claim to Alsace and much 
better than her claim to Lorraine. But apparently her 
condescension has limits; under our very eyes she is 
trying to drive a wedge between Flemish and French 
Belgium with the intention of annexing the former 
when the moment is ripe, on the ground of former pos- 
session and racial and linguistic homogeneity. 

We have a full comprehension of how history was 
made in 1870-1871, for we see the phenomenon of that 
year reproduced today by the same prestidigitator. The 
Germans told the Alsatians of 1870 that they were 
coming to rescue their long^lost brothers from slavery 


to a forei^ and decadent race. They are repeating 
their refrain today, snatching their long-lost Flemish 
brothers from the yoke of Walloon domination. It 
must be admitted that the Flemings of today are more 
nearly German in spirit than were the Alsatians of 

We understand what happened in 1871, for the com- 
edy is being repeated with Belgium playing France's 
role and her Flemish districts that of Alsace-Lorraine. 
And we realize that we cannot with consistency deny 
at the coming council of peace Germany's claim to the 
Flemish lands which she has conquered, as she con- 
quered Alsace-Lorraine in 1870, if we do not at the 
same time support President Wilson's declaration that 
" the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the 
matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace 
of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted in 
order that peace may once more be made secure in the 
interests of all." 


Military Necessity 

The greatest king of Prussia said: "I begin by 
taking; later I shall find pedants to show that I was 
quite within my rights." Bismarck may well have had 
this dictum of Frederick the Great in mind in 1870. 
He began by taking, and the pedants have since been 
trying to show by arguments drawn from former pos- 
session, natural boundary, race and language that he 
was quite within his rights. 

The real justifications for the seizure of Alsace-Lor- 
raine were those invoked by the army which invaded 


Belgium in August, 1914, and by the Pan-Germanista 
of today : military and economic necessity. !N^o one of 
the responsible leaders in Germany took the trouble 
to justify their action by recourse to such immaterial 
matters as former possession, race or language. They 
left these moral considerations to the pedants, and 
bluntly stated the facts. 

Bismarck said in the Beichstag on May 16, 1873: 
"We Prussians and North (Jermans are not famous 
for knowing how to win friends and for treating dis- 
agreeable questions courteously '* (Beuss, Histoire, p. 
397) ; on March 3, 1874 ; " We have not annexed Alsace- 
Lorraine to make the inhabitants happy, we have erected! 
a rampart against the incursions which a passionate' 
and warlike people have been making into our country 
for two hundred years " (P. Matter, Bismarck, III, p. 
343) ; on November 30, 1874, he declared that Alsace 
had not been annexed for her fine eyes, that he was 
equally indiflFerent to her lamentations and to her wrath, 
and that she had been taken solely to serve as a zone 
of defence for the Empire (Beuss, Histoire, p. ^400). 
Moltke said Metz was worth two army corps : it was an 
open door to France. So Germany took Metz, which 
had been French for over three hundred years and which 
was as French as Paris. (P. Matter, I. c, p. 230.)^® 
Bismarck intended Alsace-Lorraine to serve, not as a 

10 *' There was nothing Crerman in Metz," said Heinrich Abeken. 
(Quoted by P. Matter, I. c, p. 230.) Bismarck knew perfectly 
that there was no feeling of friendship for Germany in Lorraine — 
nor in Alsace. Moritz Bush, under his master's inspiration, wrote 
an article on September 9, 1870, on " the unbelievable attachment 
of the Alsatians to France." (/&., p. 231.) The word Metz soimds 
German to American ears. As a matter of fact, it is pronounced 
Mess, and is thoroughly Romanic in origin and development. 
Many place-names in Alsace and Lorraine, which had a French 
ring before 1870, have been, since that date, officially transformed 
into something more German: thus Saveme became Zahem and 
TMonvUle became Diedenhofen, 


bulwark for defence, but as a base for aggression against 
France. It is notorious that he was determined that 
France should be crushed. In 1875, when he discovered 
that the terrible losses of the war and the monstrous in- 
demnity imposed had not reduced France to the con- 
dition of a second-rate power, he prepared to attack 
again and was restrained only by the warning of Eng-' 
land and Russia.^ ^ 

11 Practically the whole world was duped by German propagan- 
dists in 1870: Napoleon III was ambitious and foolish, Eu^nie 
was worse, the new-born German nation roused entliusiasm by its 
energy and courage, and the diabolical falsification of the Ems 
despatch was as yet a secret Jbfetween Bismarck, Moltke and Boon. 
But, even before 1875, eyes l)egan to open, and the new-fledged 
eaglet was seen to be a mere Tulgar bird of prey. 

Already in February, 1871, when it was evident that Germany 
had decided on the dismemberment of France, Lord Granville sent 
a protest to Bismarck. His emissary was greeted with an out- 
burst of fury on the part of the Chancellor: "What are you 
doing here?" Bismarck cried. "Mind your own business. This 
is a question for us to settle between us, France and ourselves, and 
you neutrals have nothing to do with it." (P. Matter, I, c, p. 251.) 

Gladstone's opinion is expressed in tiiis extract of a letter to 
Bright, dated Ctetober 1, 1870: 

" My opinion certainly is that the transfer of territory and in- 
habitants by mere force calls for the reprobation of Europe, and 
that Europe is entitled to utter it, and can utter it with good 

The following memorandum shows the attitude he took in the 

" A matter of this kind cannot be regarded as in principle a 
question between the two belligerents only, but involves consid- 
erations of legitimate interest to all the Powers of Europe. It 
appears to bear on the Belgian question in particular. It is also 
a principle likely to be of great consequence in the eventual set- 
tlement of the Eastern question. Quite apart from the subject of 
mediation, it cannot be right that the neutral Powers should re- 
main silent, while this principle of consulting the wishes of the 
population is trampled down, should the actual sentiment of Al- 
sace and Lorraine be such as to render that language applicable. 
The mode of expressing any view of this matter is doubtless a 
question requiring much consideration. The decision of the cab- 
inet was that the time for it had not yet come. Any declaration 
in the sense described would, Mr. Gladstone thought, entail, in 


As late as 1889, when Crispi, the Italian premier, 
who wished to avoid complications into which Italy 
as a member of the Triple Alliance might be drawn, 
spoke of the neutralization of Alsace-Lorraine, Bis- 
marck said : " The French government might agree 
to it. But not even this would suffice to ward off war. 
We should no longer be able to threaten France by land, 
while France would be free to attack us by sea." 
(Memoirs of F. Crispi, translated by Mary Prichard- 
Agnetti, v. Ill, p. 254.) 

The Khine is the natural zone of defence of the Ger- 
man Empire; the Vosges are the natural zone of of- 
fence, as the present war has clearly demonstrated. The 
tragedy of 1914 has shown, if it has shown anything, 
that the Rhine boundary must be re-established for the 
defence of France and the rest of the world against 
the periodic incursions of Teutons, which did not begin 
with Ariovistus and will not end with Hindenburg. 


Economic Necessity 

The advantage of having henceforth a knife at the 
throat of France appealed to Bismarck and Moltke ; the 

fairness, an obligation to repudiate the present claim of France 
to obtain peace without surrendering ' either an inch of her ter- 
ritory or a stone of her fortresses.' " 

He said further: 

" If the contingency happen, not very probable, of a sudden 
accommodation which shall include the throttling of Alsace and 
part of Lorraine, without any voice previously raised against it, 
it will in my opinion be a standing reproach to England. There 
is indeed the Russian plan of not recognizing that in which we 
have had no part; but it is difficult to say what this comes to." 

On December 20 he said to Granville : " While I more and 
more feel the deep culpability of France [he, of course, knew noth- 
ing of the editing of the Ems despatch], I have an apprehension 
that this violent laceration and transfer is to lead us from bad to 
worse, and to be the hegvnning of a new series of European com- 
plications." (Morley, Life of Oladstone, I, pp. 346-348.) 


people were impressed by the riches the sword had won 
for them. Maximilian Harden said that ^^the most 
profitable achievement of the Germans in the nineteenth 
century was the war of 1870." (Quoted by Y. Guyot, 
The Causes and Consequences of the War, p. 187.) Ac- 
cording to Sir Eobert Giffen ('' The Cbst of the Franco- 
Prussian War/' in Essays in Finance, First Series), the 
war cost Germany $300,000,000. The indemnity ex- 
acted from prostrate France was $1,000,000,000. A 
profitable investment, indeed! 

But the most profitable acquisition was not the in- 
demnity ; it was the iron land seized in French-speaking 
Lorraine. In 1913, 36,000,000 tons of iron ore were 
produced within the Zollverein. Of this, 7,300,000 
tons came from Luxembourg, 7,600,000 tons from Ger- 
many, and 21,100,000 tons from the mines of annexed 
Lorraine. {Metallarheiter-Zeitung, quoted by Current 
History, July, 1916, p. 666.) 

The Pledge of Unity of the Empire 

When Alsace and Lorraine were conquered, the Ger- 
man Empire did not exist. Before the Treaty of 
Frankfort was signed, William I had been crowned at 
Versailles. The Empire was by no means secure; it 
was free from danger from without, but the domination 
of Prussia was not yet complete and German states- 
men feared the disintegration of the new state through 
the mutual hostility of the north and the south. Alsace- 
Lorraine was to serve as a bond of union, to be the 
collective property of the various sovereign states, and 
thus to act as the cement which united the separate 
states into an Empire. 

The German law of June 9, 1871, which determined 


the status of the ooimtry ceded by France, declared: 
^^ Alsace-Lorraine is the price of combats in which all 
the German states have shed their blood, the pledge of 
the unity of the German Empire conquered by its 
united forces. . . . Alsace-Lorraine must belong to aU." 
(Quoted by Antony in Revue des Sciences politiques, v. 
27, 1912, p. 43.) • 



The annexation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871 has but 
one justification, a thoroughly German one, which 
Americans abhor: the ri^ht of might. The cardinal 
principle of American political thought is that govern- 
ments derive their just powers from the consent of 
the governed. Germany* has no such powers over Al- 
sace-Lorraine: she won the two provinces by conquest 
and she has held them ever since by the might of her 
sword. Alsatians great and small, French-speaking and 
German-speaking, fought desperately against the Ger- 
mans in 1870. They had found happiness and pros- 
perity as a part of France; France had derived her 
just powers from the consent of the governed. 

Germany has never been able to assimilate foreign 
populations : Poles, Danes and Alsatians remain Poles, 
Danes and Alsatians. Bohemians, Slavs and Italians 
do not become Austrian. France, on the other hand, 
has, beyond all other nations in the world, succeeded 
in merging alien peoples in the stream of her national 

An Englishman, writing in 1892, says: 

" This power of attracting loyalty from neighbouring 
conquered States is one of which France may fairly 
boast, for she is almost alone in Europe in its posses- 
sion. . . . Our own failure in Ireland is at this mo- 
ment the governing factor in English politics; and 



though Scotland is more than friendly, the fusion of 
the two kingdoms, such as France has always insisted 
on in all absorbed States, would be next to an impossible 
revolution. France only has secured a loyalty at once 
complete and obedient. . . . France can, in a very 
special degree, assimilate absorbed peoples. . . ." 
(The Spectator, September 10, 1892, p. 342.)^ 

In no case did France prove her ability to " assimilate 
absorbed peoples" more conclusively thati in the case 
of Alsace. There was no question of absorption in Lor- 
raine, which, except in some districts, had never been 
anything but French. Alsace, too, it is true, was by 
no means an alien country when she became French in 
the seventeenth century. The German Professor Wit- 
tich says: 

" A social structure identical with that of France, 
which existed before Alsace became a part of France 
and was at most reinforced by the annexation, con- 
stituted a predisposition essentially favourable to the 
rapid and decisive conquest of the people by the French 
national genius, from the day that Alsace became a 
part of'the French state." (Wittich, p. 788.) 

But even granting this predisposition for French 
things in Alsace, the speed of the absorption was mar- 
vellous, especially in view of the inevitable clash in 
religious opinions, and all that this entailed in pious 
days, between Catholic France and Alsace with her 
large Protestant population. 


Alsatians had no reason to regret their transference 
from Austrian to French sovereignty. Protected 

1 Michelet appropriately said: "None are more French than 
peoples who do not speak French, like our Basques, our Bretons, 
our Alsatians." 


against aggression as they had never been protected 
before, with long x)eace assured, they turned in all 
tranquillity to the arts of peace, and the land pros- 

In marked and significant contrast to the Qerman 
policy since 1871, no eflFort was made to Gallicize the 
new provinces; not a single regulation aimed to sub- 
stitute French for German as the language of the peo- 
ple ; the laws; manners, customs, traditions of the coun- 
try were • respected. The watchword was : " Don't 
touch the things of Alsace ! " 

A German, von Ichtersheim, in a work published in 
1710, pays a great tribute to the French administration: 
"The Sovereign Council of Alsace," he says, "rules 
with strict justice. What is particularly praiseworthy 
is that law suits are not lengthy. . . . Expenses are 
not great, and, above all, no attention is paid to the 
standing of the litigants, and quite as often the subject 
wins his suit against his sovereign, the poor against 
the rich, the servant against his master, the layman 
against the cleric, the Jew against the Christian, as vice 
versa. Yes, the king himself accepts the jurisdiction of 
this Sovereign Council. . . ." (Reuss, v. I, p. 336.) 

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was, at least 
nominally, not effective in Alsace, and thus Protestants 
were persecuted in France and guaranteed protection 
by the state in Alsace. That there was, nevertheless, 
much official discrimination against Protestants in Al- 
sace, is, of course, true; it is a signal evidence of the 
French idea of justice, however, that the bigoted mon- 
arch Louis XIV did not ride rough-shod over all agree- 
ments and treat Alsatian Protestants with the same 
rigour as French Protestants. Except for the inevitable 
friction between Catholics and Protestants, there was 


no reason for discontent in the newly acquired terri- 

Strasbourg became French in 1681. Less than 30 
years later, in 1709, the Prussian ambassador to the 
court of France, Baron Schmettau, wrote to Prince 
Eugene, Heinsius^ and the Duke of Marlborough : ^^ It 
is notorious that the inhabitants of Alsace are more 
French than the Parisians themselves, and the King of 
France is so sure of their affection in his service and 
for his glory that he orders them to provide themselves 
with guns, pistols, halberd^ swords, powder and lead 
every time tiiere is a rumour that the Germans intend 
to cross the Ehine ; and they rush in masses toward the 
banks of the river to prevent or at least to dispute the 
passage of the German nation, at the evident peril of 
theii^ own lives, as if they were going to a triumph. . . . 
If the Alsatians were separated from the King of 
France, whom they adore, the only way their hearts 
could be torn from him would be by a chain of 200 
years." (Reuss, v. I, 727. )2 

A German professor. Dr. Martin Fassbender, writes 
as follows in the Pan-Germanist Detdsche. Politik of 
January 18, 1918 : 

** The French may be a frivolous and hard people 
(Voltaire, who surely knew his countrymen, calls them 
a nation as frivolous as barbarous, and we have known 
them as such during this war), but one has to own 
that they understand marvellously how to assimilate an 
annexed people. A remarkable instance of the attitude 
of France in this respect is to be found in an exchange 
of letters in 1659 between the Minister Colbert and his 

2 ReusB (y. I, p. 727) questions the authenticity of the Schmettau 
do^nim«at and emphasizes on the contrary the consummate skill of 
the French authorities who slowly and gradually from 1648 to 
1789 won Alsace from German to French culture. 



brother Colbert de Croissy, the first Gtovemor {Interv- 
dcmt) of Alsace. The Minister urges his brother 
to see that the inhabitants of Alsace should be better 
treated than the inhabitants of the other German prov- 
inces, and at the same time to take care that the clergy 
should be so treated as to use their influence to render 
the inhabitants of Alsace good Frenchmen. The result 
was that, as early as 1675, when German troops invaded 
these provinces [which had become French in 1648], 
they not only met with complete indifference but with 
hostility on the part of the inhabitants. . . . The re- 
proach which is unfortunately being made against us 
by other nations, namely, that we do not know how 
to assimilate conquered regions, and that, furthermore, 
these conquered regions remain a foreign body inside 
the German Empire, this reproach is only too well 
founded." (Quoted in Edinburgh Review, April, 1918, 
pp. 324, 338.) 


But it was the French Revolution that consolidated 
France and definitively won Alsace, along with all the 
other provinces, to the French fatherland. Whatever 
remained in Alsace alien to France, partaking of sep- 
arate and distinct national feeling, utterly disappeared: 
in the Revolution. Out of this hell came a new France. 
Alsace had earned and demanded the right to be consid- 
ered an inalienable portion of the new nation. 

The citizens of Strasbourg, gathered in the Place 
d'Armes on March 18, 1790, voted by acclamation the 
following address to the National Assembly : " Assem- 
bled in this Square where our fathers gave themselves 
regretfully to France, we have come to cement by .our 
oaths our union with her. . . . We have sworli and we 
swear to shed even the last drop of our blood to main- 


tain the Constitution. If the city of Strasbourg has 
not had the glory of giving the first example to the cities 
of the realm, she will at least have that of being, by 
the energy of the patriotism of her inhabitants, one of 
the mightiest bulwarks of French liberty." (Reuss, v. 
II, p. 600.) 

In June, 1790, the Alsatian National Guard set up 
in the middle of a bridge over the Rhine a tri-coloured 
flag which bore the inscription : " Here begins the 
Land of Liberty." 

In April, 1792, Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg, asked 
a young officer to compose a song for the army of the 
Rhine which was advancing to repel the German in- 
vader. In response to this request, the officer wrote 
" The War Song of the Army of the Rhine." For a 
century and a quarter that Alsatian song has been the 
rallying-cry for all who would make and keep the 
world safe for democracy. The young officer was Rou- 
get de Lisle and the song was later re-named " La Mar- 
seillaise." Only a quirk of fate deprived France's 
and freedom's national hymn of its rightful title, ^^ La 

The great French historian, Fustel de Coulanges, 
said in 1870 in a passionate, but wonderfully restrained, 
reply to certain violent letters of Mommsen: 

" Do you know what made Alsace French ? It was 
not Louis XIV, it was our Revolution of 1789. Since 
that moment Alsace has followed all our destinies, she 
has lived our life. All that we have thought, she has 
thought, all that we have felt, she has felt. She has 
shared our victories and our reverses, our glory and 
our mistakes, all our joy, and all our sorrows. She has 
nothing in common with you. The fatherland, for her, 
is France. The alien land, for her, is Germany." 
(Questions historiques, ed. JuUian, 1893, p. 509.) 


iNaumann of Heilbronn said in the Eeichstag in 1910 : 
" That first and powerful political sentiment, which 
makes of a man a citizen^ that first and powerful civic 
sentiment, which is transmitted faithfully from gen- 
eration to generation, because the individuals remem- 
ber with gratitude the day when they ceased to be 
subjects and became free men, these first popular senti- 
ments came to Alsatians and Lorrainers from France." 
(Quoted by Eccard in Revue politique et parl^meniaire, 
V. 66, 1910, p. 318.) 

In the armies of the Republic, Kellermann, the vic- 
tor of Vahny, and K16ber, both Alsatians, distinguished 
themselves. Alsace contributed more men and generals 
to the forces of the Empire than any other French 
province. The names of twenty-eight Alsatian gen- 
erals are inscribed on the Arch of Triumph in Paris. 
In addition, thirty-four other Alsatian generals served 
under Napoleon. Phalsbourg, in Lorraine, a town of 
two thousand inhabitants, gave to France at this time 
twenty-three generals. 

In 1814, a German paper, the Merhur, reviled the 
Alsatians as unnatural hybrids, more antagonistic to 
Germany than the French themselves, and added that 
Napoleon's Alsatian generals had behaved in Germany 
with more cruelty than any others. (Dimnet, in Nine- 
teenth Century, September, 1917, p. 516.) 

Between 1815 and 1870, the Germans, under the spell 
of that peculiar hallucination which the world at last 
recognizes, gradually persuaded themselves that Alsa- 
tians were Germans in captivity, longing to return to 
the German fatherland. In 1867, at the time of the 
Luxembourg difficulty, when a war between Germany 
and France was menacing, the students of the University 
of Strasbourg sent an address to the students of Ger- 
many in whidb they said: 


'^ War we do not wiah^ national hatred we do not 
know. Without doubt, if war were inevitable, we would 
ungrudgingly make whatever sacrifices France might 
ask; but, today, while there is still time, we ccnne to 
offer you our hand and to ask your co-operation in de- 
fending in both our countries the cause of peace and 
liberty. . . ." 

This dignified appeal was met by the following reply 
from the Burschenschaft of Berlin, the democratic party 
among the youth of the German universities : ^* Bene- 
gades and deserters are detested by all men, and you 
will be no exception. What I You would be willing 
to abjure your nationality I ... to march against Qer- 
many, our mother and yours I What I You would be 
willing to pierce the bosom of your Alma Mater I Quit 
being bastards, students of AlsiEice and Lorraine, become 
again in your hearts real diildren of the Qerman father- 
land.' Then we too, if we are victorious in the next war, 
and there is no question that we shall be, will press you 
in fraternal embrace to our mighty breasts. But before 
then, Never! Dixi/mua et salvavimus animam/' 
(Quoted by Delahache, p. 58.) * 

Alsatians did not receive the Germans as liberators. 
German domination did not come to them with their 
consent. In 1681 Strasbourg surrendered to the French 
army without striking a blow. In 1870 the siege of 
Strasbourg by the German army was one of the most 

s From 1806 on, Prussia flpradually worked herself into a frenzy 
under the dominion of whidi she finally, when the time was ripe» 
in 1870, set forth in a holy crusade to redeem from immoral 
France " all the heritage of the Hapsburgs, and Burgtmdy." . The 
remarkable evidence of this paranoia, pronouncements of pastors, 
professors, publicists, generals, princes, is presented by Delahache 
and Hazen. Skillfully fostered, it expanded in volume and viru- 
lence till in 1914 Kultur sallied forth in the second holy crusade 
to bring light not only to '* all the heritage of the Hapsburgs, and 
Burgundy," but to all Middle-Europe and beyond — from Ant- 
werp and Calais to Bagdad. 


bitter, the most horrible, in modern history.* The 
magnificent libraries of the city were wantonly destroyed 
with a purpose, the same purpose, that prompted the 
insult to the world perpetrated at Louvain in 1914: to 
destroy foreign civilization and make way for German 

Before 1870 Germans cherished the delusion that 
Alsatians longed to be freed from their French prison. 
During the war they were undeceived. They realized 
that Alsatians were foreigners and in their exaspera- 
tion made no pretence of asking for the consent of 
the governed. Treitschke in his pamphlet "What do 
we demand of France ? " said in 1871 : 

" We Germans who know Germany and France, know 
better what is good for Alsace than the unhappy peo- 
ple themselves, who through their French associations 
have lived in ignorance of the new Germany. We will 
give them back their own identity against their will. 
We have in the enormous changes of these times too 
often seen in glad astonishment the immortal working 

of the moral forces of history (^ das unsterbliche Fort- 


4 The General commanding the besieging army was Werder, 
called by the inhabitants " Moerder." He said to a young Pro^ 
testant preacher : " I hate the Alsatians because they love 
France." (Reuss, Hiatoirey p. 375.) 

The following is of interest in the light of certain incidents of 
tlie present war : " Warning — The severest surveillance of rail- 
roads and depots — The railroad bridge near Fontenoy, in the 
neighbourhood of Toul, last night blown up — as punishment the 
village of Fontenoy was burned from top to bottom — The same 
fate will befall places in which similar things happen. — Toul, 
January 22, 1871 — Von Schmadel." (Delahache, p. 99.) The 
French' is by no means good, in contrast with that of the placards 
posted in 1914 in Belgium. But then, in 1870 commanders did 
not have the advantage of the official " Complete Proclamation 
Writer," " L*Interpr6te Militaire — Zum Gebrauch im Feindes- 
land," prepared in anticipation of the events of 1914. (See 
" German War Practices," Committee on Public Information, 
Washington, p. 10.) 


wirkung der sittlichen Machte der Geschichte') to be 
able to believe in the unconditional value of a plebiscite 
on this matter." (Quoted by Morgan, The War Book 
of the Oerman General Staff, p. 62.) 

Germany and Austria are conspicuous for their dis- 
dain of the rights of people to determine their own 
destinies. Piedmont constituted the kingdom of Italy 
by annexations of Modena, Parma, Tuscany, the Ro- 
magna, Naples, the Marches, Umbria, only after suc- 
cessive consultations of the people. France annexed 
Nice and Savoy after a plebiscite. There was no 
dream of a plebiscite when Prussia annexed Schleswig- 
Holstein, Hanover, Nassau, Hesse-Cassel and Frank- 
fort.' There was no suggestion of a plebiscite in 1871) 
when Germany seized Alsace-Lorraine, nor when Aus- 
tria seized Bosnia and Herzegovina a few years ago. 

Germany and Austria enlarge their territories in ac- 
cordance with the law of feudal ages, long since dis- 
carded by the nations facing tbem in arms today, the 
law of force, the right of conquest.® 

5 This is not quite accurate. Prussia did, in fact, promise Aus- 
tria in 1866 to hold a plebiscite in North Schleswig, but in 1878 
she persuaded Austria to release her from this obligation. 

« The theory of the " self-determination " of nations was a 
hobby of Napoleon III. It is well-known with what insistence 
he recurred to this doctrine in his diplomatic conversations with 
Prussia and Austria. After Solferino, Napoleon and Francis 
Joseph met at Villafranca. The French peace plan contained 
these words: "The Emperor of Austria cedes his riglits to Lom- 
bardy to the Emperor of the French, who, according to the wish 
of the people^ delivers the country into the hands of the king of 
Sardinia." Francis Joseph protested against the last phrase: 
" What you call the wish of the people," he said, " I call revolu- 
tionary right, which I cannot recognize. I know only right writ- 
ten in 'treaties. According to treaties, / possess Lombardy. I 
am willing, constrained by the fortune of arms, to cede my rights 
to the Emperor Napoleon, but I carmot recognize the wish of 
peoples nor anything of the sort." ("Journal de ma Mission 
aupr^s de I'Empereur d'Autriche, par le prince Napoleon," Revue 
des Deux Mondes, August 1, 1909} p. 489.) 




In February, 1871, the French National Assembly 
met at Bordeaux. On February 17, 1871, the Alsatian 
deputies presented the following statement: 

Declaration in the National Assembly, 
Bordeaux, February 17, 1871 

"We, the undersigned French citizens, chosen and 
del^ated by the departments of 'Bas-Bhin,' 'Haut- 
Ehin,' * Moselle ' and * Meurthe ' to bring to the Na- 
tional Assembly of France the expression of the unani- 
mous will of the populations of Alsace and of Lorraine, 
after having met together and deliberated, have re- 
solved to set forth, in a solemn declaration, their sacred 
and inalienable rights in order that the National As- 
sembly, France and Europe, having before their eyes 
the wishes and resolves of our constituents, may not ac- 
complish nor allow to be aecomplii^ed any act which 
might do injury to those rights whose guardianship 
and defence have been entrusted to us in a formal man- 

" Declaration 

" I. Alsace and Lorraine do not consent to aliena- 

"Associated with France for more than two cen- 
turies in good fortune as in evil, these two provinces, 
ever exposed to the attacks of the enemy, have con- 
stantly sacrificed themselves in the cause of national 

" They have sealed with their blood the indissoluble 
compact that binds them to French unity. 
I " Under the present menace of foreign pretensions, 
in the face of all obstacles and all dangers, under the 




very yoke of the invader, they affirm their unshakable 

^^ With one accord, citizens who have remained in 
their home, and soldiers who have hastened to join the 
colours, the former by their votes, the others in combat, 
signify to Germany and to the world the immutable 
will of Alsace and of Lorraine to remain Frendi ter- 

'^ II. France cannot agree to nor sign the cession of 
Lorraine and Alsace. 

" She cannot without imperilling the continuity of 
her national existence deal a mortal blow to her own 
unity by abandoning those who have won by two hun- 
dred years of patriotic devotion the right to be de- 
fended by the whole country against the enterprises 
of victorious force. 

" An aBsembly, even if it is the product of universal 
suffrage, caxmot ikyoke its sovereignty to shield or ratify 
demands which are destructive of national integrity: 
it would take upon itself a right that does not belong 
even to the whole people gathered in general assemblage. 
Such an abuse of power, which would result in the 
mutilation of our common mother, would subject those 
guilty of it to the just reprobation of history. 

^^ France may suffer the assaults of force, she cannot 
sanction its decrees. 

" III. Europe cannot permit nor ratify the aban- 
donment of Alsace and Lorraine. 

^^ Guardians of the rules of justice and of the rights 
of men, the civilized nations could no longer remain in- 
sensible to the fate of their neighbour, under penalty 
of being in their turn victims of the violations that they 
would have tolerated. Modem Europe cannot allow a 
^ople to be seized like a common herd, she cannot re- 
main deaf to the repeated protests of menaced popula- 


tions; she owes it to her own preservation to prohibit 
such abuses of might. She knows, moreover, that the 
unity of France is today, as in the past, a guarantee 
of the general order of the world, a barrier against 
the spirit of conquest and invasion. Peace made at the 
fcost of a cession of territory would be only a ruinous 
truce and not a definite peace. It would be for all a 
cause for internal troubles, a legitimate and permanent 
provocation to war. 

" In resume, Alsace and Lorraine protest vigorously 
against all cession of territory, France cannot consent 
to it, "Europe cannot sanction it. 

" IV. Wherefore we call to witness our fellow- 
citizens of France, the governments and peoples of the 
whole world, that we hold in advance null and void all 
acts, treaties, vote or plebiscite, which may agree to 
abandonment in favour of the foreigner of all or a part 
of our provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. 

" By these presents we proclaim for ever inviolable 
the right of Alsatians and Lorrainers to remain mem- 
bers of the French nation, and j we swear both for 
ourselves and for our constituents, for our children and 
their descendants, to claim that right eternally and by 
all means against any and all usurpers." (Facsimile 
in Reuss, La France et V Alsace a travers VHistoire.) '^ 

7 The assertion of the right of peoples to dispose of themselves, 
so eloquently voiced at Bordeaux and later at Berlin, did not 
strike a note never before touched in the history of man. A 
little over half a century before, a proud nation made a similar 
declaration : " Over all treaties soar the rights of nations. Con- 
trary to the rights recognized by humanity and null, therefore, 
are treaties which dispose of a nation against *its will." This is 
the noble manifesto issued by Prussia during her War for Libera- 
tion against Napoleon, in 1806. 

The Constitution drafted by Condor cet in 1791 declares: 
"The French republic will wage war only to maintain liberty, 
preserve its territory, and defend its allies. It solemnly re- 
nounces the uniting to its own territory of any foreign country, 


Before leaving the National Assembly, the deputies 
from Alsace and Lorraine, about to become Germans by 
right of conquest, made their last statement as French- 

Protest of Bordeaux, March 1, 1871 

" Given over in defiance of all justice and by an odious 
abuse of might to foreign domination, we have a last 
duty to perform. 

" We again declare null and void a compact which 
disposes of us without our consent. It will ever remain 
open to each and all of us to claim our rights in such 
manner and in such measure as our conscience shall 

" At the moment of leaving this chamber where our 
dignity does not permit us to sit longer, and despite the 
bitterness of our sorrow, the supreme thought that we 
find at the bottom of our hearts is a thought of grati- 
tude to those who for six months have not ceased to 
defend us^ and of unalterable attachment to the father- 
land from which we are violently torn. •. 

"We shall follow you with our prayers, and, with) 
entire confidence in. the future, wait till regenerated 
France resumes the course of her gr^at destiny. 

" Your brothers of Alsace and of Lorraine, cut off 
at this moment from the ci)mmon family, will. pre- 
serve for France, absent from their homes, a filial af- 
fection until the day when she returns to take her place 
there again.'^ (Beuss, La France et r Alsace i travers i 
VHistoire, p. 9.) "^ 

Until February 18, 1874, Alsace-Lorraine had had no 

unless a wish to this effect is freely expressed by the majority 
of the inhabitants of such a country, and only in a case when the 
countries which are asking for such a union have not been incor- 
porated in and united to another nation by a social covenant em- 
bodied in a previous>and freely adopted Constitution." 


representation in the Imperial Reichstag. On that date 
the fifteen deputies from the conquered provinces, 
elected by a population of what Germany had called 
" long^lost brothers/' took their seats. The deputy of 
Zabern, speaking in the name of the fifteen, prefaced 
his speech with an apology for the fact that it was 
translated from French, German not being his mother 

The Protest in the Reichstag, February 18, 187 J^ 
Speech of Edouard Teutsch 

" Gentlemen : 

" The people of Alsace-Lorraine, whose representa- 
tives we are in the Reichstag, have entrusted to us a 
special and most important mission which we are eager 
to fulfil without delay. They have commissioned us 
to express their thoughts upon the change of nationality 
violently imposed upon them as a consequence of your 
last war with France. . . . 

"Your last war, which ended to the advantage of 
your nation, gave her without doubt the right to rep- 
aration. But Germany exceeded her right as a civilized 
nation in obliging vanquished France to make the sac- 

8 Hig name was Teutsch, It is a most disconcerting fact that 
we insist upon branding nationality upon a man in accordance 
with the sound of his name. Long before the Mayfiotoer and 
Hudson's vessels and Captain John Smith's brought European 
names to the United States, German names were introduced into 
Alsace. Before the ancestors of all but the very oldest American 
families had left their European homes, Alsatians — good Celts 
who had taken German names, at the time when people took 
names — had become French, and their desc^idants have been 
French ever since. And yet, when a man's name is Teutsch or 
Reuss or Preiss or Blumenthal, we say he is German, and German 
he must be, though his ancestors were French, generations, if not 
centuries, before the Mayflower left Plymouth, or at any rate a 
century or more before England signed the treaty of peace which 
created the United States of America. 


rifice of a million and a haK of her diildren. In the 
name of the Alsatians and Lorrainers sold by the Treaty 
of Frankfort, we protest against the abuse of force of 
which our country is the victim. 

" If in times remote and relatively barbarous^ the 
right of conquest has sometimes been able to transform 
itself into an effective right, if even today it may be 
excused when it is exercised on ignorant and savage peo- 
ples, nothing of the sort is applicable in the case of 

" It is at the end of the nineteenth century, a cen- 
tury of enlightenment and progress, that Germany con- 
quers us, and the people thus reduced to slavery — for 
annexation, without our consent, is for us tantamount 
to moral slavery — this people is one of the best in 
Europe, the one, perhaps, which most exalts the senti- 
ment of right and justice. . . . 

'^ Citizens possessed of souls and intelligence are not 
merchandise to be bartered; and it is not permissible 
to make them the object of a contract.^ • • • Now it was 
with your sword upon her throat that France, bleeding 
and exhausted, signed the treaty agreeing to abandon 
us. France was not free, she yielded to violence, and 
our codes teach us that violence nullifies all con- 
vraciis* • • • 

" A celebrated jurist. Professor Bluntschli of Heidel- 
berg, in his International Law Codified, page 285, 
teaches this: 

" ' In order that a transfer of territory may be valid, 
it is necessary to have the acknowledgment of those 
who live in the ceded territory and there enjoy their 
political rights. Such acknowledgment can never be 

• Pfesident Wilson said to Congress on January 22, 1917: 
** Xo right exists anywhere to hand peoples about from sovereignty 
to sovereignty as if they were prc^erty." 


passed over in silence nor suppressed; for peoples are 
not things without rights and without wills, the owner- 
ship of which may be transferred/ 

"Even the French despot, for whose mad policies 
Alsace and Lorraine are now so cruelly punished, and 
whom you pretend to surpass in liberaliLi, mp;)leon 
III, always linked with his schemes of annexation the 
idea of consulting the annexed populations.^^ You have 
granted us nothing of the kind. . • . 

" Our hearts are, in fact, irresistibly attracted to our 
French Fatherland. 

" Two centuries of common life and thought create 
between the members of the same family a sacred bond 
that no arguments, and still less violence, may tear 
asunder. ... 

" To accomplish this annexation, which in our opin- 
ion is an unheard-of action that nothing can excuse, 
to tiius break the hearts of a million and a half of 
free men, what arguments did Germany invoke? May 
we take the liberty of briefly recalling them. 

" 1. With bitter mockery she has claimed us as a 
part of her own family, as her brothers. Well, you 
know today, without any possible doubt, that any 
family tie between us and yourselves is severed. . . . 

" 2. To annex us, Germany has invoked the customs 
of war. But, as we have said once before, these are 
customs borrowed from barbaric times and wholly out 
of place in the civilized epoch in which we live. 

" 3. Finally, Germany has put forward the needs of 
her own defence against French aggression. But, with- 
out dismembering France, she could have attained that 
aim by imposing upon her vanquished enemy the dis- 
mantling of the fortresses of Alsace-Lorraine. 

" We must, therefore, look to the intoxication of vio- 

10 See p. 33j note. 


tory, and to that intoxication alone^ for the true reason 
of the exorbitant claim by virtue of which we are now 
the vassals of your empire. By giving way to that 
intoxication Germany has committed, perhaps, the great- 
est mistake to be written in her history. . . . 

" Because in 1871 she did not follow the counsels of 
moderation, what is she reaping today? All the na- 
tions in Europe suspect her encroaching power, and 
multiply their armaments. In order to maintain that 
empty thing called military prestige, Germany is ex- 
hausting herseU in men and money. And, gentlemen, 
what are your prospects for the future? Instead of 
that era of peace and brotherhood among peoples that it 
was in your power to inaugurate, we are sure that you 
foresee with the same dread as we, new wars, ruin 
and death again descending upon your homes.^^ (See 
Welsdiinger, in Rews hebdomadaire, June 16, 1917; 
Gailly de Taurines, in Revue des Deux Mondes, May, 
1918, pp. 77 ff., 302 ff.) 11 

This speech provoked hoots of derision such that the 
speaker was heard with diflSculty. Only twelve Poles, a 
Dane, seven Socialists and two other Germans voted 
in favour of the Alsatians. Among the Socialists were, 
notably, Bebel and Liebkneoht.^^ It is a son of this 

11 After Teutsch had gpoken, the Bishop of Strasbourg, Mgr. 
Raess, deputy from Schlestadt, an octogenarian, rose and declared 
that he accepted the treaty in the name of his co-religionists. 
The fifteen deputies had previously agreed upon the Protest de- 
livered by Teutsch. Baess's Catholic colleagues immediately dis- 
avowed his action, and the next day all Catholic Alsace rose in 
indignation. (Gailly de Taurines, h c, pp. 306 ff.) 

12 Grerman Socialists, having loyally voted war credits until the 
war became one of conquest, denounced the annexation from 
the moment it was evident in what direction things were tend- 
ing. On September 5, 1870, the day after the proclamation of 
the Republic at Paris, the Central Committee of the German So- 
cialist party sent forth a manifesto to the workingmen of Ger- 
many in which it is said: "In the name of the German Work- 
ingman's Party, we protest against the annexation of Alsace- 


Liebknecht that the German government has held in 
prison since early in the present war. 

The protests of Alsace and Lorraine in the French 
National Assembly and in the German Reichstag live 

Lorraine, and we know that we are in agreement with the workers 
of Germany. In the interest of Germany as in that of France, 
in the interest of peace and liberty, in the interests of western 
civilization, the workers of Germany will not tolerate the annexa- 
tion of Alsace-Lorraine." 

When the war ceased to be a war of defence and became one 
of conquest, Karl Marx could no longer support it. Three days 
after Sedan, the Grerman Social Democratic Party issued a mani- 
festo"; which was prepared by Marx, setting forth that, although 
" so long as the mercenaries of Napoleon threatened Germany " 
it was their duty " as Germans to defend the independence of 
the Fatherland," it was now their duty to recognize that, with 
the empire overthrown and a republic established in France, Ger- 
many must make an honourable and generous peace; that it was 
the duty of the German Socialists to oppose all annexations of 
French territory. The manifesto solemnly warned the people of 
Germany that the seizure of Alsace and Lorraine would lead 
inevitably to an alliance between France and Russia and to a 
general European war beginning as a war of Russia and France 
against Germany. Such a war was, Marx believed, inevitable, 
"except in the doubtful event of a Russian revolution." 

Four days after this remarkable document was issued in Ger- 
many, the General Council of the International issued from Lon- 
don anothier manifesto, written by Marx, in which the following 
significant paragraphs appeared: 

"Do the Teutonic patriots seriously believe that the independ- 
ence, liberty and peace of Germany may be secured by driving 
France into the arms of Russia? 

" If the luck of arms, the arrogance of success, and the intrigues 
of the dynasties lead to the robbing of French territory, then t£ere 
are only two ways open for Germany. 

"It either must pursue the dangerous course of being a tool 
for Russian aggrandizement, a policy which coincides with the 
traditions of the Hohenzollems, or it must, after a short pause, 
prepare itself for a new ' defensive ' war — not one of those new- 
fangled ' localized ' wars, but a race war, a war with the united 
Slav and Latin races. This is the peace prospect held out by 
the brainless patriots of the German middle class. 

"History will not measure her retribution by the circumfer- 
ence of the square miles conquered from France, but by the in- 
tensity of the crime of having re-established in the second half of 
the nineteenth century the policy of conquest." 


today. They have never been abrogated by any similar 
public and popular action. 

From September 21, 1870, to the conclusion of peace all issueB 
of the official organ of the German Socialist party carried these 
words in large letters on the top of the first page : ** Honourable 
peace with the French Republic, no annexation! " 

On November 26, 1870, Liebknecht and Bebel demanded in the 
Reichstag that the war be stopped, now that Germany was vic- 
torious, and that peace be concluded with France as soon as pos- 
sible, without any annexation of French territory. On May 2, 
1871, Bebel said in the Reichstag: ** I protest against the an- 
nexation of Alsace-Lorraine, because I consider it a crime against 
the right of peoples and a shameful disgrace in the history of 
the German people." This protest Bebel and Liebknecht raised 
again and again till the day of their deaths. Both men were 
condemned to two years of imprisonment. (Rosenthal, L'Alaaoe- 
Larradne, 1916, passim; Spargo, in Neto York Times Mctgazine, 
May 6, 1918.) 


PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 

^' XJnd willst du nicht mein Bruder sein, 
So schlag' ich dir den Schadel ein ! " 

Prussian proverb, 


Francis Joseph wrote to William I in 1871 : " I 
congratulate you on the annexation of an open sore to 
your empire." ^ His words were prophetic The 
open sore has never healed. 

Germany took Alsace and Lorraine into her nation 
on the ground that they were (Jerman and then pro- 
ceeded to treat them as French. She hailed Alsatians 
and Lorrainers as " long lost brothers " and proceeded 
to treat them as an inferior race. 

Since 1871 Alsace and Lorraine have been gov- 
erned like conquered provinces, like colonies. In 1879 
and 1901 some concessions were granted. In 1911 a 
Constitution was finally accorded, but it was a mere 
travesty, and Alsatians and Lorrainers were not duped ; 
all, whatever their political party, expressed their dis- 
appointment in no uncertain manner. 

Article II, § 1, of the Constitution reproduces word 
for word the following clause from Article III of the 
Law of June 9, 1871 : " Die Staatsgewalt in Elsass- 

1 Mgr. Freppel said to William in Februrary, 1871 : " Believe 
a bishop who says to you before God, his hand on his conscience: 
Alsace will never belong to you." (Duhem, p. 92.) 


PEESECUTION: 1871-1914 45 

Lothringen iibt der Kaiser aus " (" The Kaiser exercises 
the sovereignty in Alsace-Lorraine "). 

The Reichsland was given, under the new Constitu- 
tion, three votes in the Bundesrat, the real governing 
body of the Empire. This seemed a great concession, 
but, as usual, what Grermany gave with one hand, she 
took back with the other. Alsace-Lorraine has no con- 
trol over the three votes ; her delegates receive their in- 
structions from the Governor, who is appointed, and may 
at any time be replaced, by the Kaiser. Thus, as a 
matter of fact, the three new votes in the Bundesrat 
are not Alsace-Lorraine's, but Prussia's. The other 
German States fully realized this, and Prussia was 
forced to concede to them the provision that the three 
votes of Alsace-Lorraine were not to be counted if they 
assured a majority for Prussia. These votes cannot 
be cast against Prussia, because they are controlled by 
Prussia. If cast in favour of Prussia, they are not 
counted unless Prussia loses. It is difficult to see how 
they count at all. Alsace-Lorraine surely gained noth- 
ing by securing representation in the all-powerful Bun- 

Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg said in the Prussian 
parliament on January 10, 1914: "I know I have 
been criticized for having given a constitution to Al- 
sace-Lorraine. . . . The Conservative speaker com- 
complained a moment ago that votes in the Bundesrat 
had been granted the Beichsland. It cannot be 
claimed that the influence of Prussia has suffered as a 
result of the vote^ granted Alsace-Lorraine, since the 
Kaiser controls the votes of Alsace-Lorraine just as he, 
as King of Prussia, controls the votes of Prussia." 
(Speech quoted in Qviestions diplomatiques et colon- 
Mes, V. 37, 1914, p. 117.) 

The Constitution states : " The present law can be 


abrogated or modified only by an Imperial law." Thus 
this Constitation may be withdrawn at any time and 
may be modified at any time without the sli^test con- 
sultation of the people whom it is supposed to protect ! 

Even in matters of internal finance the Constitution 
limits the freedom of the local Parliament. Article Y, 
§ 3y reads as follows : " The consent of the Government 
is necessary for the addition to the budget by the Lower 
House of expenses not provided for in t^e budget" 
The purpose of this clause was to prevent what had 
taken place in previous years, to the embarrassment of 
the Secretary of State for Finance : the appropriation of 
money for tiie benefit of petty local functionaries who 
were Alsatians and consequently not cared for by the 
Government* (Antony, in Bevue des Sciences polUi- 
ques, V. 27, 1912, p. 255.) 

Not only is the Kaiser master of the Reichsland's 
votes in the Bundesrat of the Empire ; he is also master 
of the provincial legislature. The Lower House is 
elected by a modified universal sufiPrage. The Kaiser 
has complete control of the Upper House, half of the 
members being in large part appointed subject to his 
will, and half being directly appointed by him. Fur- 
thermore, no bill passed by both houses becomes a law 
until it has been approved by the Kaiser, and the auto- 
crat who graciously a,cGorded the Constitution could 
tear it to pieces if he wished, as he declared in that 
remarkable speech at Strasbourg in May, 1913. In all 
German states the sovereign of the particular state 
names a certain number of the members of the Upper 
House, but he names them for life. Under the Consti- 
tution of 1911, the Kaiser names half the members of the 
Upper House of Alsace-Lorraine, and for a single ses- 
sion. (On the Constitution see Braun, in Questions dip- 
lonudiques ei colonicUes, v. 31, 1911, pp. 345 ff. ; and. 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 47 

especially, Heitz, in Bevuie du Droit public, v. 28, 1911, 
pp. 429 S.y where the Constitution is given in full and 
carefully studied.) 


The conquered provinces might have forgotten their 
political servitude, if that had been the lowest depth 
of their degradation. But they were allowed none of 
the privileges of free-bom men. Their martyrdom be- 
gan in 1871 and has not yet ceased. 

At the time of the inauguration of the Strasbourg 
tribunal in 1871, the Attomey-Greneral declared: 
" Clemency would be a mistake, moderation a danger." 
Germany did not make that mistake, not incur that 

Newspapers were suppressed, officials removed, 
schools dosed, individuals summarily banished, all in a. 
/ manner to gall and infuriate the population. Most of 
those who had the means fled into exile. Alsace-Lor- 
raine was administered by a Governor responsible ex- 
clusively to the Emperor and by a host of petty immi- 
grant officials, — - Carpet-Baggers, the student of Ameri- 
can history would call them, — the riff-raff of the Ger- 
man states, incapable of earning their living in their 
native country, a good riddance for Germany and des- 
tined to be pestilential rubbish in impotent Alsace. 

The Teaching of French 

Within a year of the conquest, the teaching of French 
in the public schools had been suppressed to such an 
extent as to enable a witty speaker to announce in the 
Eeichstag in 1872 that in the technical school of Mul- 
house " the teaching of history was in German, of 
geography in German, of penmanship in French, of 
drawing in French." (Delahache, ,p. 139.) 


The teaching of French in the primary spools was 
entirely forbidden ; in secondary schools it was permit- 
ted two or three hours a week, the prof es^jor being al- 
most invariably an Inunigrant, that is tg^ say, a new- 
comer from Germany. (Reuss, Histoir^, p. 379 ; Du- 
hem, p. 21.) ^ In 1908-9 decided effcrts on the part J| 

of the Alsatian parliament were mad^ to secure ^j^SLm^Pk 
teaching of French in the primary sotools. The arga-^^^ \ 
ment advanced was a practical onec the proximity of 
the French made it desirable foi/conunercial reasons 
that their language be known iiaf Alsace. This argu- 
ment served as a boomerang, tA the government pre- 
tended to be making a considerable concession when 
finally it permitted the teaching of French in the pri- 
mary schools of localities along the frontier.^ Alsa- 
tians were, of course, not satisfied, and the struggle went 
on, but the sole result was a fine of 500 marks for 
Ilansi and two months in prison for the Abbe Wetterle. 
(Delahache, pp. 174 ff.; Braun, in Qiisstions diplo- 
matiques et coloniales, v. 29, 1910, pp. 461 flF.) 

" In Metz," says David Starr Jordan, after a journey 
through Alsace-Lorraine in 1913, " instruction [in 

s In 1909 Hansi published in the NouvellUte dP Alsace-Lorraine 
a caricature of Professor Gneisse of the lyc^ of Colmar with this 
legend : " French must not be taught, because the professors do 
not know it themselves." (WetterlS, Ce qu'4tait . . ., p. XIII.) 

8 The restriction of the use of the French language is written 
even into the Constitution of 1911! There it is stated that an 
exception may be made in favour of French in localities where a - 
majority of the population speaks French, and that the Governor 
may authorize French as a language of instruction. (Article II, 
§ 27.) Of course it is the administration that decides what 
localities those are " in which a majority speaks French." In 
1871, 420 communes were recognized as entirely French; in 1892 
this number was officially reduced by 109, but in 1908 Labroise, 
mayor of Winsse, deputy to the Reichstag, said that in his com- 
mune, one of the 109, only two persons spoke German, himself 
and the school teacher. (Dauzat, in Revue politiqiie et parte- 
mentaire, v. 88, 1916, p. 354.) 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 49 

French] is given in Oerman to students who use French 
in daily speech and in their games. The lessons oc- 
cupy one hour a week.'^ {Ahace-Lorraine, p. 51.) 

Helmer's teacher of French was a native of Cologne ; 
Hansi's came from Konigsberg. (Helmer, in Nine- 
teenth Century, February, 1918, p. 235.) 
••^instruction in all subjects, in all schools, public and 
private, sectarian and lay, was in accordance with regu- 
lations laid down by government officials. Only one 
privilege was left to the school authorities, that of pay- 
ing the professors, who were very often imposed upon 
them by the government and were almost always Im- 
migrants. (Eeuss, Histoire, p. 391.)* 

Conciliation: MmUeuffel, 1879-1885 

Only one Governor of Alsace-Lorraine made a serious 
effort to reconcile the people by gentleness : Manteuflfel, 
who ruled from 1879 to 1885. His measures were 
nullified from above and from below. When Hertzog, 
the chief minister, visited Mulhouse, he was asked to 
be considerate of the people. He answered : " ThJ| 
wishes of the people are absolutely indifferent to me.'Jr 
(Valbert, in Revue des Deux Mondes, July 1, 1888, p. 
205.) Practically all the subordinate officials were 
of the Hertzog type, and all, great and small, waged a 
merciless war against the Governor in German news- 
papers from the date of his accession to the date of 
his death. (Eeuss, Histoire, pp. 407 ff.) 

In 1887, on the issue of the famous Law of the Septen- 
nate, Bismarck dissolved the Beichstag. The elections 
for a new Reichstag resulted overwhelmingly in favour 

«The text books used in the schools were sometimes prepos- 
terously unsound, presenting past history and contemporary fact, 
not as they were, but as Germany would have preferred them 
to be. (See Bruneti^re, "Un Manuel allemand de G6ographie," 
Revue dea Deux Mondea, June 1, 1876.) 


of the Chancellor everywhere in Gtermany except in 
Alsace-Lorraine. . The conquered provinces again re- 
turned a solid block of Irreconcilables, inunutably op- 
posed to (Jermany, to Bismarck and to his Law of the 
Septennate, which was directed against France. Of 
314:,000 registered voters, 247,000 voted for the Irrecon- 
cilables, 82,000 more than in 1884. (Reuss, Histoire, 
p. 417.) 

Blood and Iron: 1887-1901 

Manteuffel died on June 17, 1885. Bismarck had 
never approved of the regime he had inaugurated in 
Alsace-Lorraine,^ and was detennined it should not be 
continued. The new Grovemor, the Prince •von Hohen- 
lohe-Schillingsfiirst, was a man after Bismarck's own 
heart, a Prussian of one of the oldest noble families, 
with supreme confidence in the policy of blood and 

Bismarck's intentions in regard to Alsace are dis- 
closed by a passage in the Journal of Hohenlohe under 
^date of May 8, 1888: 

, " Since last spring, in consequence of the excitemen|; 
produced by the result ojf the elections^ we have in- 
- troduced a number of more or less vexatious measures, 
which have aroused much ill-feeling. Prince Bismarck 
thereupon desired me to introduce the system of com- 
pulsory passports against France, which existing legis- 
lation allows me to do upon my own initiative. He 
informed me that our ambassador at Paris would not 
be allowed to visa any pass without previously asking 

8 At first Bismarck had been enthusiastic about the possibility 
of speedily reconciling the Alsatians; he was soon disillusionecl 
and said in 1878 that he had no longer ''the enthusiastic hope 
conceived under the happy impression he had felt on seeing these 
countries of the Empire recovered by Germany." (P. Matter, 
Bianutrck, HI, p. 491.) 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 61 

permission, so that infinite delays would arise in conse- 
quence. There is no doubt that this measure would 
not only excite general surprise and excitement, but 
would also greatly embitter the local population. It 
seems that Berlin desires to introduce these irritating 
measures with the object of reducing the inhabitants 
of Alsace-Lorraine to despair and driving them to revolt, 
when it will be possible to say that tie civil govern- 
ment is useless and that martial law must be pro- 
claimed." (Memoirs of Prince Chlodwig of Hohen- 
lohe'Schillingsfurst, v. II, p. 3&5; see also the letter 
to Wilmowski, ibid., p. 396.) 

After martial law had been proclaimed, tjie recalci- 
trant provinces were, doubtless, to be annexed to Prus^ 
sia or divided between Prussia^ Bavaria and Baden. 
(See P. Matter, Bismarck, III, p. 494.) 

The repression and coercion to which Hohenlohe re- 
fers, and which he was forced from Berlin, not greatly 
against his will, to put into operation, reached unbeliev- 
able limits of severity. All sorts of Alsatian societies 
were dissolved, artistic, choral, scientific, gymnastic, — 
even the old and famous medical society of Strasbourg. 
All societies not suppressed were forced to submit their 
statutes to revision at the hands of the prefects, to ex- 
hibit their banners and insignia in order that the least 
French word might be effaced therefrom, and to declare 
their readiness to receive henceforth any Immigrants 
who might desire to enter. Deputies were expelled and 
political prosecutions took place on every side. The use 
of French was prohibited on street-signs, and even on 
tombstones. Wben the old patriot Kable, deputy in 
the Keichstag, returned from Nice to die in his native 
land, his colleagues were strictly forbidden to use one 
word of French in the last adieus pronounced over his 
grave. (Reuss, Histovre, p. 418.) 


The regime of passports was the most cowardly and 
infamous of the means adopted to break the heart and 
soul of the nation. The purpose was purely and sim- 
ply, as has been frequently said, to put Alsace at the 
mercy of all Germanizing influences by raising a Chi- 
nese Wall between her and France.® No person from 
France could enter Alsace without a passport, and it 
was tacitly understood between the German government 
and its embassy at Paris that passpoirts should be is- 
sued only in exceptional cases and after intolerable de- 
lay. (Reuss, Histoire, p. 419.) 

The Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung explained 
these measures of repression by saying that " tiie chief 
obstacle to the assimilation of Alsace was the continua- 
tion of social and economic relations with France.*' 
(Y. Guyot, The Causes and Consequences of the "Wwr, 
p. 68.) 

The accession of William II and the retirement of 
Bismarck brought no relief to Alsace. Hohenlohe was 
continued as Governor, and Caprivi, Bismarck's suc- 
cessor, announced on June 10, 1890, that he was re- 
solved to maintain the passport system in order "to 
deepen the gulf which separated France from Ger- 
many." He added : " It is true that after seventeen 
years of annexation the German spirit has made no 
progress in Alsace." (Reuss, Histoire, p. 420.) On 
September 4, 1892, at a luncheon in Metz, the Kaiser 
said to the Lorrainers : " Germans you are, and (Ger- 
mans you shall remain, with the aid of God and the Ger- 
man sword! " (Maringer, p. 223.) 

It was all in vain, however. In 1895, a few months 

^ The passport regime is in direct contrayention of Article ll 
of the Treaty of Frankfort. (See the text of the treaty in Dela- 
hache, pp. 201 ff. See Journal du Droit international privi, v. 
15, 18«8, pp. 488-500.) 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 63 

after the comineinorations of the battles of the Franoo- 
Prufisian War, Germany celebrated the centenary of 
William I, the conqueror of 1870. Alsatian officialdom 
and the official newspapers arranged festivities and 
demanded general participation. In spite of official 
insistence the Abbe Sipp, writing in the Colmarer 
Zeitimg, declared : " Wir ma<£en nicht mit ! " 
(" We'll have nothing to do with this ! '') ; but he made 
an exception for the rdigious services which were to be 
a part of the program, saying: " We will pray for the 
dead who fell in the wars made by William I, and we 
will also pray for this Emperor ; for we remember that 
before God, the supreme Judge, the emperor is judged 
as well as the beggar, and that we find in the Scriptures 
these awful words bearing on rulers and their fate: 
^ Mercy will soon pardon the meanest, but mighty men 
shall be mightily tormented/ '' The newspaper was, 
of course, suppressed. (Hehner, p. 171.) 

Solutions were found for the insensibility of Alsa- 
tians and Lorrainers to the honour of being once more 
Germans. Before 1887, during the mild Manteuffel 
regime, they were terrorized, it was said, by France, 
afraid of the taunts their erstwhile compatriots across 
the border would fling at them as renegades. After 
1887, when the provinces were governed in such a way 
that there could be no question of French terrorism, it 
was decided that Alsatians and Lorrainers were — " not 
historically minded " (" nicht historisch denkend ") ! 

These two reasons for Alsatian and Lorraine recalci- 
trance were commonplaces in German newspapers, the 
one before 1887, the other after. 

The phrase " historically minded " must not be mis- 
understood. It did not mean that Alsatians were un- 
mindful of the fact that they had been German several 
centuries before; it meant that they were not suffi- 


ciently clairvoyant to see that the centuries to come 
were to be German centuries, during whidi German cul- 
ture would rule the world, whereas France, the motiier- 
land toward which the incorrigible provinces were yearn- 
ing, was decrepit and decadent. 

Pinrpricks and Scorpions: 1901-19H 

A system of conciliation was initiated in 1901 under 
the personal order of the Kaiser. The meddling of the 
carpet-baggers was curbed, and the government no longer 
intervened despotically in internal politics.'' 

The German Immigrants, restrained from political 
domination, now assume cultural superiority and bend 

7 Careful saryeillance prevailed, however, and it was learned on 
frequent occasions that the reliCxation was only apparent. 

In 1906 a terrible scandal was provoked when St6phany, ex- 
commissioner of police in Alsace-Lorraine, published a pamphlet 
( '' Germanisation, Willkfirregierung und Polizeiwirthschaft," 
Schmidt, Zttrich) in which he disclosed such facts as the follow- 

"In every district administrative office and in every district 
police office are kept: 

'' 1. A secret list of Alsatians and Lorrainers to be expelled in 
case of war. 

"2. A secret list of Alsatians and Lorrainers who, in case of 
mobilization, are to be arrested and confined in a safe place. 

" These proscription lists are revised and completed twice a 
year. They are sent to commissioners of police in envelopes 
guarded by five seals. ... I can affirm most authoritatively that 
these lists have not been annulled as a result of the revocation of 
the dictatorship paragraph (1902), but that they have been 
brought up to date recently and that the revision continues at the 
present day." ( Florent-Matter, p. 226; Delahache, p. 166.) 
These '' black lists," it is known with certainty, existed and were 
utilized in July, 1914. 

The Abb6 Wetterl^ was fortunate enough to have an oppor- 
tunity to see himself as the authorities see him. *' The stupidity 
of a clerk," he says, "enabled me to go in a leisurely manner 
through my record at the prefecture of Colmar. The impression 
I got from the reading was overwhelming. I could never have 
inuigined any man capable of so many attacks on the public 
safety." (Ce qu'StwU . . ., p. 32.) 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 65 

their efforts to convincing the provincials that they are 
raw, "iinreif/^ Representatives of the highest civili- 
zation in Europe were, however, among them, and Alsa- 
tians had but to forget decadent France and recognize 
the tutorship of the pioneers of culture, " Kultur- 
pioniere," as the Immigrants called themselves, in order 
to rise to the high plane of German spirituality. . 

The following anecdote is told of the Grerman eflForts 
after 1901 to introduce Gterman culture into the " un- 
reif " provinces. At a Pan-Gterman Congress held at 
Wiesbaden, a Gterman clergyman, Pastor Spiesser, gave 
an account of his campaign in favour of German Kid- 
tur. When visiting one of his colleagues, he had no- 
ticed that the latter talked French to his family. He 
tried by every means to persuade his friend to adopt 
the German language, but was met by the objection 
that his wife insisted on speaking French. He then 
pointed out the weakness of allowing oneself to be 
thus dominated by a woman. Having found his ef- 
forts unavailing, on returning to his W he sent his 
friend a book entitled Ueher den bioloffischen Schwach- 
sinn des Weihes (On the Biological Imbecility of 
Woman). The Pan-German Congress at Wiesbaden 
heartily applauded. (Helmer, p. 149.) 

" The more it changes, the more it remains the same " 
— the reign of the Pioneers of Culture was not more 
endurable than that of the Carpet-Baggers : a slight al- 
leviation here, an aggravation there; Alsace and Lor- 
raine remained to the day war was declared in 1914 the 
collective chattel of the states which form the German 
Empire, the " zone of defence of the Empire," existing 
for the benefit of the Empire, administered for the bene- 
fit of the Empire. 

We have discovered since 1914 that Germans are con- 
stitutionally incapable of understanding any people 


except Germans. Incapable of understanding the Al- 
satians, the (Jermans would not realize that, however 
great the risk, their only chance of success lay in grant- 
ing "home rule," unrestricted, genuine "home-rule." 
Instead of that, they continued to ply the unfortunate 
provinces with scorpions and pin-pricks. 

French was still proscribed. The newspapers of the 
province invented a new rubric under which they regis- 
tered the prowess of the police in running down the last 
remnants of the French language : " La Chasse aux 
Inscriptions frangaises " (" Gunning for French In- 
scriptions "). 

A " Public Inscription " is defined i^th laborious 
Germanic thoroughness in a circular sent out to all the 
mayors, commissioners of police and magistrates in 
Alsace-Lorraine : 

" An inscription or an announcement is public when 
it can be seen by one or several persons, whoever they 
may be ; to be considered such, therefore, are announce- 
ments or inscriptions on private premises capable of 
being seen from the public street, such as signs posted 
in stores, show-windows, gardens, etc. . . . Inscriptions 
on clothes, such as caps worn in public by employes or 
servants of certain commercial or industrial establish- 
ments, are to be considered public inscriptions." 

So the French word gaz on the caps of employes of 
the gas companies was changed to the German word Oas; 
the barber changed his sign from coiffeur (which was 
French) to Friseur (which was German) ; bureau 
d' octroi passed muster when altered to OctroirBureau; 
modiste was banned to make way for Modistin, restau- 
rant became Restauration, concierge became Portier, 
cafe became Kaffee, concert became Konzert, etc. 

In Lorraine, where the German signs would have 
been meaningless, French signs were permitted when 

PEESECUTION: 1871-1914 57 

preceded by the same inscription in German. (Florent- 
Matter, pp. 188 S. ; Hinzelin, pp. 82 flf.) 

The Constitution of 1911 brought no relief, and at 
every sign of generosity on the part of the authorities in 
Alsace — there were not many — the Pan-German news- 
papers raised an outcry. In fact, from 1911 on, the 
Pan-German party directed the policy to be pursued in 
Alsace, with the result that during the next three years 
even liie slight progress that had been made toward 
Germanization was. obliterated. In July, 1914, Al- 
sace and Germany were farther removed from each! 
other than at any period since the first days of the an- 

In May, 1911, William II unveiled the statue of his 
grandfather in the Kaiserplatz of Strasbourg, while the 
population marvelled at the tactlessness of thus enthron- 
ing the Prussian of 1870 in the city he had so fiendishly 
bombarded forty years before. In June, 1911, the 
" Society of Alsatian-Lorraine Students " was abolished. 
A few months later the. Graff enstaden Affair, the cul- 
mination of the policy of economic persecution, began to 
agitate the populace. The Pan-German newspapers at- 
tacked the Gfovemor for his moderation! In 1913 
Laugel was forced to resign the presidency of the So- 
ciety for the Preservation of the Historic Monuments of 
Alsace because he had delivered a lecture at Belfort. 
A little later the society called the " Souvenir Alsacien- 
Lorrain,'' which cared for the tombs of soldiers fallen 
in 1870, was dissolved. The Pan-Germans had been 
scandalized by the participation of Alsatians in the in- 
auguration of the monument commemorating the heroes 
of Wissembourg (October 16-17, 1909) and in the cele- 

8 In 1911 the Pian-GtermanistB took in hand the administration 
of Schleswig-Holstein also. {QueaPions diplomatiquea et coloniale8, 
V. 31, 1911, p. 560.) 


bration organized at Metz by the " Souvenir/' August 
16, 1911; and by the cracking of their whips they 
forced the dissolution of the " Souvenir." ® When 
threats of a protest in the Lower House were heard, 
Zom von Bulach, the hated minister, replied : " Vote 
your protest; we shall not yield a hair's breadth. . . . 
There is somebody at Berlin who alone decides whether 
or not we are to appear here at all.'' At the same time 
he was preparing witii the collaboration of Berlin new 
laws which should destroy the French press and permit 
him, without formalities, to get rid of all societies that 
seemed dangerous. This amounted to nothing else than 
the re-enactment of the abominable dictatorship law. 
(Eeuss, Histoire, pp. 441 fF.) 


The climax was reached this same year (1913) in the 
Zabern Affair, the most outrageous insult civilization 
has ever received at the hands of militarism. The 
pusillanimous abdication of the civil authorities during 
this affair in the face of the jeering insolence of Pan- 
German jingoes proved that Germany had bartered away 
her soul and had reached the climax of barbaric triumph 
of the mailed fist over human law.^^ 

Lieutenant von Forstner, an officer such as only Pan- 
German militarism could produce, promised ten marks 
and immunity to any one of his men who would run his 
steel through a " wacke " (" vagabond," the pretty term - 
commonly employed in the German army to indicate 

• The administration had permitted the Wissembourg celebra- 
tion and similar pious commemorations of Alsatians who bad 
died in 1870, thinking that the country had been pacified. They 
were moat emphatically undeceived, and the Pan-Germanists had 
the joy of crying triumphantly: "We told you sol " 

10 On this affair, which, being generally well known, is treated 
quite inadequately here, see the chapter in Hazen, and the article 
by Barth, in Revue dea acienoea polltiquea, v. 31, 1014, pp. 161 ff. 

PERSECUTION: 1871-1914 59 

" Alsatian "), and invited all to befoul Hie Erench flag 
in a certain manner which h dear to so many Germans. 
Feeling ran high. The civil authorities were nncere- 
moniously and illegally brushed aside, and military law 
was declared. A few days later blood was shed when 
Forstner, *^ in self-defence/* struck a lame cobbler over 
the head with his saber. Forstner was finally court-^ 
martialed and sentenced on December 19 to the mini- 
mum period of detention, forty-three days. He ap- 
pealed, and was acquitted on January 10. 

All liberal Germany was roused. ^^ On December 4, 
1913, by a vote of 293 to 54 with four abstentions, the 
Bei(^stag for the first time since the foundation of the 
Empire passed a formal vote of censure against the 
Chancellor. {Questions dipLomatiqaes et coloniales, v. 
36, 1913, p. 754.) Pan-Germanism laughed at the 
protest. The Beichstag on January 20, 1914, ap- 
pointed a commission to examine into the affair, but the 
conmiission never acted. The Chancellor and the Reich- 
stag ignominiously capitulated before von Falkenhayn, 
Minister of War, and Germany fully justified Mira- 
beau's diagnosis of a hundred years before : " Prussia 
does not possess an army ; an army possesses Prussia." 

The Alsatian Lower House, January 11-15, vio- 
lently attacked the administration of the Eeichsland. 
On January 19 even the Upper House was forced by 
popular clamour to take up the affair. A vote of cen- 

11 The Zabern Affair must be recognized as one of the immedi- 
ate causes of the war. Liberal Germany gained great strength 
as a result of it, and the Pan-Germanists saw that they must 
strike soon before the great mass of their compatriots, whom they 
had thus far successfully bewitched or cowed, should wake and 
hurl them and their '' shining army " into the Baltic Sea. ( See 
the very significant press-comments collected by Altschul in 
Oerman Militarism tmd ita Qerman Critioa, published by the Com- 
mittee on Public Information, Washington; and Gerard, My Four 
Teara in Oenna/ny, chapter IV.) 



sure was passed in this stronghold of the Kaiser and his 
appointees, only two Prussian generals and one servile 
professor voting against it. Two members refrained 
from voting. 

While all Alsatians, supported by practically all the 
Immigrants, were protesting thus against the weakness 
of their administration, the Pan-Germanists were active 
also in attacks upon this same administration for a con- 
tiary reason. They were, of course, successfuL The 
Qt)vemor, von Wedel, and the chief of the ministry, 
2^m von Bulach, both of whom were hated in Alsace 
for their harshness, were withdrawn on the ground that 
they had not opposed the Alsatian nationalists with suffi- 
cient vigour. To take their places Dallwitz and Roedem 
were sent, botii fierce Pan-Germanists, both ready to 
obey the orders they had received and to reintroduce the 
favJnrite Prussian Wne of blood and iron. After he 
had been a week in Alsace, Dallwitz expressed surprise 
that no attempt had yet been made to assassinate him. 
Already the reign of terror had begun. Hansi published 
his My Village, in which he continued his accus- 
tomed satires directed at the Immigrants. He was ar- 
rested, sent to Leipsic ( !) for trial, and there sentenced 
to fifteen months in prison on a charge of high treason. 
Fortunately he escaped a few weeks before the outbreak 
of war and is now in France. (Wetterle, L^Ahace- 
Lorraine doit . . ., p. 125.) 

In reply to the Prussian diallenge, Alsatians com- 
posed their party divisions and stood united to meet the 
attack. All was ready for the bitterest contest in the 
history of Alsace when suddenly news came of the assas- 
sination at Serajevo. 




The repressive measures adopted in 1887 had their 
effect; the persecution of the provinces became so in- 
tense that Germany did achieve her purpose: she ex- 
hausted — for the moment — the power of resistance 
of the people. They were worn out by their years of 
fruitless rebellion, frankly disheartened, particularly 
since it was becoming evident that France was less and 
less disposed to embark upon a war of revenge; the 
Boulanger affair and the Panama scandal tended to 
destroy confidence in the old Fatherland. Extensive 
emigrktion had sapped the strength of the land, for it 
was the leaders, the strongest, and only the strongest, 
who had had the courage to go forth into exile. ^ And 

1 The most pathetic sign of the, inability of Alsatians to endure 
German rule is to be found in the emigration which began imme- 
diately after the conquest and has not yet ceased. 

Eccard, an Alsatian, says: 

'' What the emigration has cost us in population amounts to 
hundreds of thousands; in money, to billions; in capacity and in- 
telligence, no estimate can be made. The loss is irreparable." 
(Quoted by Hazen, p. 103.) 

To leave one's native land and most of one's possessions, to go 
out into exile without hope of return, is the last sacrifice, and 
Alsace has endured it to prove her hatred of Germany. 

An English writer has calculated as follows Alsace's loss in 
population, from figures given in the ofiicial StatiatiacheM Jahr- 
huch fUr Elsaae-Lothringen, edition of 1913: 

<'In 1871 Alsace-Lorraine had l,549,7dS inhabitants. If there 
had been no emigration from that country it should have had in 
1910 not 1,874,014 inhabitants, but 2,476,544 inhabitants, owing 



the Alsatians, like all very democratic peoples, have al- 
ways been in need of guidance. 

to the yearly excess of births over deaths, and owing to immigra- 
tion from Germany and other countries. This is borne out by the 
following figures: 

Pop. of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871 (Page 1) 1,549,738 

Excess of Births over Deaths 1872r-1911 (Page 29) 654,984 

Germans and Foreigners at Census of 1910 (Page 17) . . 371,822 

Total 2,476,544 

" As the population of the provinces was in 1910 only 1,874,014 
it appears that no fewer than 602,530 people have been lost to Al- 
sace-Lorraine by emigration between 1871-1910. That is exactly 
40 per cent, of the original inhabitants. Very likely this gigantic 
figure of emigration seriously understates the actual fact, for 
many of the children of immigrant Germans and foreigners who 
Were bom in Alsace-Lorraine — they should number at least 100,- 
000 — are of course described in the census as native Alsatians 
and Lorrainers. It follows that probably at least 700,000 have 
left their homes." (Politious, in Fortnightly Review, March, 
1918, p. 387; cf. Vidal de la Blache, in Revue des Sciences po- 
Utiquea, v. 35, 1916, p. 310.) 

While the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Baden increased in 
population from 1,460,000 to 1,725,000 between 1871 and 1895, 
Alsace showed a gain of only 10,000 inhabitants." (Wittich, p. 

Out of 33,475 boys who ought to have presented themselves be- 
fore the recruiting boards in 1872, 7,454 appeared; only 3,119 of 
these were fit for service, the rest having risked nothing in com- 
ing up, since they were declared physically unfit. The number 
of deserters in 1878 was 9,580; in 1879, 10,101. (Reuss, Hiatdre, 
p. 393.) 

It must not be forgotten that the emigrants were the most val- 
uable, the most intelligent, portions of me population, '' from the 
highest social classes." (Wittich, p. 862.) 

The exodus continued uninterruptedly. It would have been 
much greater than it was, especially in the last decade or two, if 
many of the most intense lovers of France had not done all within 
their power to dissuade it with the quite valid argument that 
eVery Alsatian who departed left a place for one more German 
immigrant. It is in the same spirit tnat men like Wetterl^ urged 
Alsatians to accept places in the administration, post-office, cus-. 
toms-office, etc. Before 1900 practically all functionaries were 
immigrants; after 1900, under the impulsion of leaders of the 
autonomist party, more and more Alsatians put on the civil livery 


A Catholic and a Socialist party began to appear, 
thoroughly Alsatian, and not at all German in feeling, 
but sufficiently divergent from each other and from the 
single party of the past to break the unanimity of 

It was evident that reconciliation, or rather acquies- 
cence, was necessary if Alsace was to be allowed to live. 
The Chinese Wall on the French frontier forced Alsace 
to choose between Germany and starvation, moral and 
physicaL She chose GteJany. 

When now Alsatians began to ask for autonomy 
within the Empire, such autonomy as the other German 
states enjoyed, they were honestly desirous of trying to 
accept the annexation as an accomplished fact They 
proved their sincerity in the elections of 1893, when only 
one Irreconcilable was elected to the Beichstas^. They 
asked merely the minimum rights of a civilized people. 
And Germany refused; she was simply too petty in 
spirit, too entirely the victim of her distrust of popular 
government, to be capable of an act which would have 
had in it something of magnanimity. Preiss, deputy 
from Colmar, speaking in the Beichstag during the 
debates concerning the Constitution of 1911, recalled 
his country's happiness under French rule and appealed 
for a broader attitude on the part of the Germans. 

of the German government, not for that, however, becoming more 
German at heart, as many writers erroneously supposed. 

2 In 1889 and 1890 the Bishops of Metz and of Strasbourg, both 
natives, died and were replaced by German bishops. At about this 
time German workmen introduced Socialist ideas into industrial 
centres like Mulhouse. For the next twenty ^ears the authorities 
supported by every means Catholics and Socialists with the pur- 
pose of breiucing up the single Protest party into various groups. 
They were partially successful, but more and more after 1900, 
to the dismay of officialdom, the various groups reimited. It is 
piquant, to say the least, to see Hohenzollern Germany cham- 
pioning the interests of Socialism in Alsace and persecuting the 
leaders of the movement across the Rhine. 


'^ Make for the Alsatians and Lorrainers a home in 
which they will be at ease and can thus forget a happy 
past . . . ," he said. " The German Empire coiild 
only gain by following the example of France. You 
possess the language, you possess force, but there is 
something you do not possess: that is generosity. What 
we ask is not generosity, but simply justice." (Ques- 
tions diplomatiques et coloniales, v. 31, 1911, p. 243.) 

Germany's final reply to Alsace's appeal for the right 
to rule herself was given at Zabem and at Graffenstaden. 

Alsace was prepared to endure even Zabem and 
Graffenstaden »to avoid a war between Germany and 
France, from which she would be the chief sufferer. 
And France, too, was prepared to endure almost any- 
thing rather than resort to arms. Much has been said 
of the French determination to seek " revenge " for the 
defeat of '70. No intelligent man who knows the 
France of the generation before 1914 would hesitate to 
declare that the cause of "revenge" was hopelessly 
lost, that it was kept alive only by a few fanatic patriots, 
for the most part adherents of reactionary and dis- 
credited dreams, that at no time was it even remotely 
possible to rouse the French nation to actual war for the 
recovery of Alsace and Lorraine. 

France was ready even earlier than Alsace to accept 
the autonomy of the Eeichsland as a solution of the 
question, as Bismarck confessed to Crispi in 1889, and 
as Alsatians complained. Her bitterness toward Oter- 
many failed to cool, not because of the rape of 1871, 
which she had resigned herself to accept as irretrievable, 
but because of Germany's intermittent truculent saber- 
rattling, and particularly because the unending misery 
of her lost provinces did not permit her to forget. Al- 
sace and Lorraine kept repeating: " You sacrificed us 
as a ransom to save the rest of France. See what we 


have become I And you are willing to make a friend 
of our enemy, to renounce your duty of redeeming us ? " 
This pathetic reproach was constantly voiced in Alsace 
after 1887. 

The eminent lawyer of Strasbourg, Helmer, says in 
the Nineteenth Century, February, 1918, pp. 239, 243 : 

" France, having ratified the cession of Alsace-Lois 
saine by the vote of the national assembly, could not 
expect those provinces to take the initiative in a fresh 
conflict. Indeed, their former country never encouraged 
them to undertake any seditious enterprise. She had no 
wish for a struggle with Germany, and made use of the 
most insignificant pretexts to avoid one. She went too 
far, perhaps, in her desire to have no quarrel with Ger- 
many. Such, at least, was the opinion of the annexed 
population. The Alsatians observed this attitude, and 
very often regretted the ease with which France accepted 
inconsiderate treatment on the part of the Empire, and 
acts of injustice which were sometimes even violations 
of the Treaty of Frankfort. The Alsatians, being ac- 
customed to a daily conflict with the Germans, knew how 
much can be gained from them by an attitude of decision 
and energy; whUe any concession, or desire to avoid a 
quarrel, is always interpreted by Germany as a sign of 
weakness. Alsatians in contact with French official cir- 
cles knew that their former country would never give the 
least encouragement to any attempt at a rising, since, in 
her desire to avoid the smallest pretext for a stru^le, 
she had refrained from opposing Germany on the ques- 
tion of options and passports, of the statute regarding 
French Insurance Companies,^ of the residence of French 

sin 1881 the French insurance companies (there were fifty-nine 
of them with policies issued to the amount of three and a half 
hillion marks) were expelled from Alsace-Lorraine. This dis- 
crimination — other foreign companies were not disturbed — was 


people in Alsace-Lorraine and of Germans in France, 
and of many other points on which she had preferred to 

^^ . . when Bismarck was dismissed it seemed as 
though Europe breathed again, and there were those 
who believed that William the Second^s fair words pre- 
luded the reparation of the injustices of 1871. Alsace 
did not fall into these mistakes; but the discussions in 
important I'arisian journals on the question of Alsace- 
Lorraine and the possibility of solving it peacefully, and 
on the probability of a visit from the Emperor William 
to Paris for the Exhibition of 1900, rang very sadly in 
the ears of the Alsatians. This new spirit proved that 
the idea of revenge was abandoned, that France would 
not seek a fresh quarrel that might liberate the annexed 
provinces, that tiie only course was to depend on the 
justice inherent in events. In that justice, therefore, 
the Alsatians put their confidence. They foresaw that 
a day would come — when and how they could not tell 
— when the Germans would themselves provoke the 
conflict, when their arrogant spirit would at last wear 
out the patience of the world, or when, believing in 
their own strength and despising those who did not wage 
pacific war against them day by day, they would think 
they had only to pluck, like a ripe fruit, the leadership 
of Europe and the dominion of the world. 

" In spite of all, the Alsatians believed in a future 
that should redress their wrongs. But since France 
seemed to have deserted them, they could not continue to 
sacrifice themselves every day." 

It must not be supposed that the request for autonomy 
within the Empire constituted the slightest renunciation 

in violation of the Treaty of Frankfort. See Kauffmann, in Jour- 
nal du Droit international privi, v. 9, 1882, pp. 129-153. France 
did not retaliate. 


of anti-Gtennan or pro-French feeling. It was merely a 
modification of the old Protest. 

The day before the horror of 1914 the people were 
neither French nor German ; they were Alsatians. They 
had given up the hope of becoming French without a 
war, but they refused to become Gterman. The refrain : 

"Vive la France 1 
A bas la Prussel » 

D'Schwobe mien 
Zuem Elsass 'nuess I ^ 

(" The Swabians, t. e,, Boches, must get out of Al- 
sace! '^), — this refrain had, on account of Alsatian — 
and French — unwillingness to precipitate world-wide 
carnage, given way to the less belligerent but equally 
determined refrain: 

" Francais ne peux 
Prussien ne veux 
Alsacien suis." 

The country had from 1871 to 1914 been subjected to 
a persecution, at the same time stupid and malignant, 
such as only the (German mind, filled with the pompos- 
ity of the upstart and corrupted by the innate Prussian 
cruelty of which Goethe speaks, could devise. 

France won the heart of Alsace by gentleness, suc- 
cessfully acting on the naive assumption that human 
beings would prefer to be French rather than anything 
else ; the Germans have apparently acted in Alsace since 
1871 on the shrewd assumption that human beings would 
prefer to be German rather than anything else only 
after they had been clubbed into submission.^ 

«Kapp, professor at the University of Strasbourg, recently 
published a book in which he says: "The Alsatians are not a 
race desirous of governing thonselves, but they are rich in bril- 


Germany had not yet in July, 1914, had time to club 
the Alsatians into submission. After almost fifty years 
of domination, she had failed. No real reconciliation 
had taken place. No fusion between Alsatians and 
Germans was possible. 

benascence: 1900. demand fob autonomy 

The discouragement which resulted from the sys- 
tematic torture on the rack instituted after the elections 
of 1887, and from the discovery that France was for- 
getting her lost children, did not last long. 

Among the older generation only the weak had been 
spared to Alsace by the emigration. But a new genera- 
tion was coming forward. 

Preiss, deputy from Colmar, said in the Beichstag on 
January 31, 1895 : " We young fellows are not like the 
generation of 1870 which emigration has deprived of 
its most resistant elements. ... If you do not intro- 
duce a more liberal regime, you will discover that this 
young generation will obstruct fusion much more ener- 
getically than has been done since 1870." (Quoted by 
Duhem in Mercure de France, July 16, 1917, p. 223.) * 

These young Alsatians had never known France. 

liant individuals who formerly found the opportunity to ex- 
ercise their talents in a great state. France opened the door to 
them wide, while Germany has been bent merely on ' caging ' 
them; she has never yet understood the lesson she could learn 
from France's manner of treating Alsatians and Lorrainers." 
(Quoted by Le Temps, January 24, 1918.) 
5 In another speech in the Reichstag on June 30, 1896, he said: 
" The assimilation, the Germanization, has not taken a single 
step forward. It is terror that governs and poisons our political 
life. The government does not understand the people and the 
people do not understand the government. History will say, ' The 
German Empire was able to conquer Alsace-Lorraine materially, 
but was not able to conquer her morally; she has not known how 
to win the heart and soul of the people.'" (Quoted by Blumen- 
thal, p. 66.) 


They had been bom and had grown up under German 
domination. Germany had had every opportunity to 
Germanize them in German schools and German bar- 
racks. It was about 1900 that they began to redeem 
the promise Preiss made in their name in 1895. It was 
at that time that the demand for autonomy became more 

This renascence synchronizes with the period of con- 
ciliation inaugurated in 1901 by the Kaiser. The ef- 
fort to gain the goodwill of the provinces was ushered 
in auspiciously by the repeal of the dictatorship para- 

< An eminent Alsatian wrote in 1908 : " It is an incontestable 
fact, however surprising it mav seem to anybody who has not 
verified it, that for the last eignt or ten years there has been in 
Alsace a renewal of ardour for the French tradition and of reac- 
tion against Germanism. 

" The observer sees signs of this movement as soon as he touches 
the conquered land. All conversations, all that he sees himself, 
all that is brought to him by sure witnesses, confirm the first 
signs. There was a period of discouragement, of despair. Alsace 
felt herself overwhelmed, abandoned. She had lost faith, and 
then, since about 1900, gradually, in all classes of society, in all 

generations, especially in the youngest, I might almost say, there 
as taken place a profound and general recovery of the old 
spirit." (AndrS Lichtenberger, in L*Opimon, April 4, 1908. 
Quoted by Florent-Matter, p. 228.) 

The earliest definite sign of the recovery of energy is in 1898, 
when the Revue Alaaoienne iUusMe was founded by a group of 
ardent youne men who had just finished their studies in Ger- 
man universities, and had become imbued there with a lasting 
antagonism to Kultur. It cannot be too strongly emphasized 
that hostility to Germany from 1898 to the present day has been 
most intense among the youth of the land. Wetterl^ says: 
" Since 1905, the youths from the universities have united in 
uncompromising opposition to the government. They had passed 
through German schools, they had never known France; but in 
outward manifestations and in inner convictions they were dis- 
tinctly Francophile. We older men had to moderate their head- 
long zeal." {L^AUace-Lorrttine doit . . ., p. 167.) 

A Bavarian, G. Peterson, says in his D€ta Deutschthum in 
Elaass-Lothringen ( 1902) : " The majority of the students of 
Alsatian and Lorraine origin are not well disposed toward Ger- 
many." (Quoted by Nystrom, p. 48.) 


graph, the most obnoxious of the administrative regula- 
tions, in force since the first days of the conquest in 
order to provide for the immediate operation of martial 
law in case the occasion should arise. But Alsatians 
realized that the repeal of the dictatorship paragraph in 
fact meant little ; they were amused and nettled by the 
ludicrous " Culture-pioneers " who came to replace it. 

It was about this time that economic persecution of 
the provinces began to pinch ; the development of Alsa- 
tian industries was arbitrarily checked whenever it 
threatened Q^rman business interests. And, too, a new 
and unexpected hope came to harassed Alsace : France, 
despite desperate internal disorders, showed signs of re- 
covery from the prostration of the preceding quarter of 
a century. Not that Alsatians ever became more willing 
to risk a war, but it brought them courage to see a re- 
newal of vigorous life in the country whose flag, though 
most of them had never lived under it, was, nevertheless, 
dearest to their hearts; and they were well aware that 
the threat of a strong France could, if anything could, 
force Germany to grant the minimum of privilege which 
would make life tolerable. 


The demand for autonomy has been cited by Gterman 
writers as proof of Alsace^s abandonment of her love for 
France. As a matter of fact, the demand for autonomy 
was to such an extent recognized as pro-French that the 
government did not dare to grant it. 

Alsace was held in an exceptional status outside the 
political scheme of the Empire through fear of the demo- 
cratic instinct of the Alsatians, which was felt to be a 
potential danger to the monarchical system of the neigh- 
bouring states. This fear had helped to dissuade Bis- 
marck from annexing the conquered provinces to Prusr 


flia. In 1911, during the discussions in the Reichstag 
relative to the proposed constitution, Delbrtick declared 
that the government was remaining true to Bismarckian 
traditions. (See Heitz, Revue du DroU pvblic, v. 28, 
1911, p. 439 ; Questions diplomatiques et coloniaies, v. 
31, 1911, pp. 240, 661.) 

One of tibe strongest reasons for German unwilling- 
ness to grant autonomy to the Beichsland within the Em- 
pire resides in the fact that since 1871 Alsace-Lorraine 
had served as the " cement of the Empire,'' the pledge 
of union between all the states. It was feared that 
there might result a tendency to disintegration if these 
spoils of war which made them all kin ceased to be a 
common possession of the confederated states. 

But the strongest reason for the refusal to grant auton- 
omy was the conviction that, were Alsace allowed to 
rule herself, she would within a few years become more 
French than she had ever been. 

The Deutsche Tages-Zeitung of December 29, 1907, 
declares that the autonomy of Alsace-Lorraine would be 
dangerous, and warns that tiie particularism which is 
developing in the annexed provinces and which has 
taken as its rallying^sall the slogan ^^Alsace-Lorraine 
for the Alsatians and Lorrainers" can in no way be 
compared with the particularism of the Bavarians ; that 
many symptoms prove the vitality of the past in the 
hearts of the annexed populations ; and that a great mis- 
take was conunitted after the war when Alsace-Lorraine 
was not divided between Prussia, Bavaria and Baden. 
" This division would have prevented the existence to- 
day of a new unity with distinctly separatist tenden- 
cies." (Florent-Matter, p. 166.) 

Speisser, pastor of a village in Lower Alsace, an im- 
petuous Pan-Germanist, said : ^^ There reigns in Alsace 
a singular superstition that to be a person of distinction 


one must have French manners ; and it is that supersti- 
tion that retards the march of true progress.'' (Quoted 
by Hebner, in Bevue politique et parlementaire, v. 57, 
1908, p. 268.) 

The same Speisser said before the Pan-German Con- 
gress of Wiesbaden on September 8, 1907 : " Today it 
is an accepted convention in Alsace that the maternal 
language of a child of respectable parents must be 
French," and he concludes that autonomy must not be 
granted, for the French language would soon pre- 
dominate and the land be Gallicized. (Novicow, p. 

In February, 1910, the Alsatian Secretary of State 
said to the territorial legislature : " Have the courage 
to declare that, being Alsatian, you are Germans, and 
you shall have autonomy immediately." There was no 
response. (Novicow, p. 173.) 

The Hambwgische Nachrichten wrote in April, 
1910 : " Alsace is more French today than she was in 
1870. ... If Alsace-Lorraine obtained today with its 
local representation the rights of an independent con- 
federated state, there would be set in motion a movement 
of Gallicization a thousand times more powerful than 
the attempts at present made by the government to de- 
Gallicize the country." (Quoted by Dauzat, in Bevue 
politique et parlemektaire, v. 88, 1916, p. 853.) 

On April 5, 1911, Wedelpissdorf said in the Prussian 
Upper House : " The debates on the question of a con- 
stitution for Alsace-Lorraine awaken grave misgivings 
in us, for we are of the opinion that the inhabitants have 
not yet become sufficiently German to admit of making 
Alsace-Lorraine a confederate [autonomous] state with- 
out danger." (Ulndependance beige, April 7, 1911; 
quoted by Novicow, p. 173.) 

These views everywhere expressed reflected the atti- 


tude of official Germany, — of all Germany, in fact, ex- 
cept a small minority of liberals ; for the Constitution of 
1911 was a mere fraud, and Alsace after that date be- 
came more irreconcilable than ever, particularly in view 
of the desertion of certain elements in the Beiehstag 
on which she had felt she could relyJ 

The Franhfwrter Zeitvmg in its issue of November 
10, 1915, publishes a four-column article headed " Al- 
sace-Lorraine,'' in whidi the definitive annexation of 
Alsace-Lorraine to Prussia is demanded. The writer 
admits that the Alsatians and Lorrainers would prefer 
either Bavaria or Baden to Prussia and explains thus 
the preference : 

" Most of those who prefer annexation to Bavaria are 
probably inspired solely by political-religious considera- 
tions. Among the others, and these are, as it happens, 
the elements which are most skilful politically, certain 
disquieting undercurrents may be designated more ex- 
actly perhaps by the word ^ Protest.' Beneath the veil 
of friendliness to South Germany and especially to 
Bavaria is concealed a sentiment of particularism. 
They hope, doubtless, under the protection of this veil, 
to continue to foster a sort of silent protest against all 
Germanization, and to be able to maintain, if only pas- 
sively, their resistance to absorption in the German na- 

7 The Berlin Post expressed the usual fear and declared that the 
first act of the Alsatian Chamber created by the Constitution of 
1911 would be to demand the introduction of the French language 
into the primary schools. (Novicow, p. 166.) As a matter of 
fact, the Constitution of 1911, which contained Germany's utmost 
concessions toward ''self-government/' explicitly restricts the 
teaching of French in the Reichsland! Nothing could prove more 
conclusively than this that the Constitution was not a grant of 
anything like " home-rule," since the chief plank of the autonomist 
platform was unrestricted teaching of French; and there is no 
surer evidence that Germany realized that after fifty years of 
domination she did not dare risk giving the Alsatians the priv- 
ilege of dioosing between French and German culture. 


tionality." (Quoted by Bulletin de VAUiance fra/nr 
gaise, 1915, p. 135.) 

The expression "verkappte Protestler" ("disguised 
Protesters "), regularly applied to the autonomists in in- 
fluential German circles, is sufficient evidence that Ger- 
many feared the influence of France, were Alsace given 
the privileges enjoyed by the other confederated states. 

The Kolnische Zeiiung says on January 16, 1918: 
" The Frenchified bourgeoisie managed to keep up the 
original opposition between natives and Immigrants [in 
Alsace-Lorraine] ; it managed to discredit among the 
people all participation in German life, to cover the 
country with a varied network of associations, which 
bred hostility against the Empire ; in a word, to develop 
that complicated and skilfully combined system which 
tended by every device to keep open the wounds of the 
country and which under the false pretence of keeping 
up the properly Alsatian traditions had no other ulti- 
mate object than to familiarize the people with the idea 
of betrayal. » The real extent and the complete success 
of this movement, the way in which the soil had been 
mined under our feet, all this was first revealed by the 
present war. . . . The countless cases of hatred and 
treason of all sorts which have occurred here owing to the 
war and which have been officially registered, Ihe con- 
clusions which have been drawn from them as regards 
the past and the prospects they have opened, have irrev- 
ocably revealed the danger which the position of both 
provinces would entail to the Empire, were they to 
become a separate State. The question of Alsace-Lor- 
raine is therefore, neither a question concerning both 
provinces, nor a question of public right, but a question 
concerning the whole of the empire and its safety. . . . 
This is not a question of liberty or servitude, but of 
adaptation of means to a certain end and of the general 


interest of the Empire." (Quoted by Edinburgh Be- 
view, April, 1918, p. 338.) ^ 


If in 1911, instead of the illusory concessions oon« 
tained in the Constitution of that date, Germany had 
dared grant real autonomy, — autonomy within the Em- 
pire, nothing more, — the present war might have been 
averted by the removal of the chief cause of friction be- 
tween Germany and France. But the Pan-Qermanists 
had in 1911 decisively defeated Liberal Germany's ef- 
forts to conciliate Alsace, and, as we have seen, from 
this time on took the direction of the Beichsland into 
their own hands. The next few years were bitter ones 
for the conquered provinceai. !N'otwithstanding the re- 
newal of persecution, however, and in the very midst 
of the most flagrant denials of justice, while Germany 
was increasing her armaments and France was replying 
in kind, the great patriots of Alsace made one more su- 
preme effort to preserve the peace of Europe. In 1913, 

8 €reorge Wolf, one of the few Alsatians who have gone over to 
the enemy, writing in the Pan-Germanist Deutsche Politik of 
September 14, 1917, says: "We must imfortunately confess that 
the policy followed hitherto has been a steadily increasing fail- 
ure. In its manner of treating the Reichsland the Empire has 
never acted in a masterly waj. The younger jB^neration there- 
fore lost patience, and the agitation in favour of France, under 
the pretence of regionalism, found a favourable ground." 
(Quoted in Edinburgh Review, April, 1918, p. 337.) 

The Kdlniache Zeitung wrote on December 6, 1917: ''The in- 
stitution and organization of autonomy would only separate 
Alsace-Lorraine more and more from the Empire and from Ger- 
manism, and thereby create a very serious danger for the imity 
and integrity of the Empire. From the interior of the country 
would soon spring up — and in a much graver way than before 
the war — Francophile aspirations, which in case of a new con- 
flict between France and Germany (a conflict which must be ex- 
pected with certainty, in view of the evolution of events) would 
surrender Alsace-Lorraine to the enemies of the Empire." 
(Quoted iML, April, 1918, p. 337.) 


brilliant articles in the powerful Journal d'Alsace-Lor- 
rad/ne, and the speeches of Lalance, Preiss, Wetterle and 
other leaders, delivered both in Alsace and in France, 
gathered the forces of the country in a magnificent ef- 
fort to settle the question by drawing Germany and 
France together. All parties^ Catholics, Nationalists, 
Socialists, and Liberals, united in great joint meetings^ 
the most imposing gatherings in the history of Alsace^ 
efforts at conciliation among the noblest in the history 
of the world. A motion was passed unanimously call- 
ing for a "fraok and honest understanding between 
France and Germany.'^ On May 6, 1913, the Parlia- 
ment of Alsace-Lorraine invited the Governor " to give 
such instructions to the representatives of Alsace-Lor- 
raine in the Bundesrat ... as to bring about an ex- 
amination of the means of reconciliation between 
France and Germany.'* 

But it was all in vain. The Berne Conference of 
May, 1913, as a result of the action of the German dele- 
gates, refused to consider the question of Alsace-Lor- 
raine. (Duhem, pp. 75 ff. ; Leroy, pp. 233 ff. See La 
Paix par le Droit, 1913, especially pp. 197 ff.) The 
Pan-Germanists laughed to scorn the generous efforts 
of Alsace. Persecution continued. Finally came the 
humiliation of Zabem, and just before tiie present 
war all party division in Alsace was once more removed, 
but the fervent prayers for peace nobly uttered during 
the preceding year were heard no more. Those same 
men who had created the peace movement of 1913' es- 
caped to France, — all who could, — and now demand, 
not autonomy, but the annulment of the Treaty of 



The Gterman government and clear-sighted thinkers 
were not deceived as some Germans were, or pretended 
to be, by the apparent acceptance of Germanism inherent 
in the transformation of the old Protest into the demand 
for autonomy. In responsible circles it was fully real- 
ized that no fusion whatsoever had taken place between 
Germans in Alsace and the native population. 

In 1901, at the International Congress of Socialists 
at Stuttgart, Bebel declared: 

" Alsace-Lorraine rebels against her separation from 
France because for centuries she has taken her part in 
Francois development, because, in the eyes of civiliza- 
tion, she was closely bound up with French thought, 
French tradition, with the soul of France.*' (BvUetin 
de r Alliance frangadse, January, 1918, p. 174.) And 
Wittich wrote at the same time : " This people clings to 
France with all its fibres." 

" Alsace-Lorraine for Alsatians and Lorrainers," the 
shibboleth of the autonomists, meant ^^ Alsace-Lorraine 
free to return unrestrictedly to the French tradition so 
dear to her " and " Alsace-Lorraine free to disembarrass 
herself of Germans and Germanism." The wise heads 
in Germany were not deceived. 

In the Alsace-Lorraine Landesausschuss on February 
11, 1905, Blumenthal declared in the course of a debate : 

^^It must not be ignored that the moral influence of 


• \0 


France on Alsace-Lorraine has never since the separa- 
tion been so strong as it is today." (Leroy, p. 96.) 

This evident fact was admitted even by Zom von 
Bulach, one of the few Alsatian renegades : ^^ The 
French current in Alsace is today sti^nger than ever." 
(Hinzelin, Coeurs . . ., p. 237.) 

France was recovering her strength and was again a 
power in the world. 

An old German priest who attended the Catholic 
Congress of Strasbourg in 1907 was greatly disturbed 
by the enthusiasm roused in the inhabitants when old 
French airs were played by trumpets : " Es ist ja noch 
alles franzosisch hier I " he cried. (Florent-Matter, p. 

A French statesman said in 1908 to an Alsatian 
deputy in the Keichstag: "Come now, frankly, isn't 
Alsace Germanized ? " The Alsatian replied : " Take 
her back and in forty-eight hours she will be as French 
as before." (Florent-Matter, p. 245.) 

Germans suspected with good reason that Alsatians 
hoped autonomy would be the first step toward a return 
to France by peaceful means, as Gambetta had dreamed 
in the '70*s and Passy and Lalance later. 


A writer in the Berliner Neueste Nachrichten of 
April 8, 1907, warns Germany that she is in error if she 
thinks progress has been made toward an understanding: 
" In their daily life," he says, " the Alsatians for busi- 
ness reasons accept the annexation as a fact ; but if the 
option were offered as in 1870 between French and 
German citizenship, without the obligation of emigra- 
tion, W0 should come off now worse than we did then. 
That is a conclusion hard to face, but true. . . . Let 
those who up to the present have been unwilling to see 


and hear, read the accounts published in French news- 
papers, on our side and on the other side of the Vosges^ 
of the unveiling of a monument on April 1 of this year 
— why was that date chosen ? [Bismarck's birthday] — 
to two French officers and seventy-two French soldiers, 
who fell on September 1, 1870. ... A French colonel, 
retired, and an administrative secretary delivered 
speeches on ' the army ' and ^ fidelity to the fatherland,' 
and the throng from Metz and its environs cried 
^ Long live the army 1 ' and ' Long live the fatherland 1 ' 
The ' army ' and the ^ fatherland ' are on the other side 
of the Vosges.'' (Florent-Matter, pp. 229-231.) 

Stiewe, an Immigrant magistrate at Zabem, wrote a 
few years ago : " The aversion of the two populations 
[Alsatian and Immigrant German] for each other grows 
more intense every year." (Florent-Matter, p. 227.) ^ 

1 The author of the article in the Berliner Neueate 'Nachrichten 
quoted above, adds: ''He who writes these lines has for thirty- 
six years held an important post in the Reichsland . . . but he 
has never been able to gain admittance to Alsatian society. 
When by any chance an Alsatian makes advances, he has a spe- 
cial purpose in view. . . . Only in the elections do they [the Alsa- 
tians] enter into relations with Germans; there, apparently, all 
differences disappear, there they make compromises, and then 
afterwards you have the picture just described, not an attractive 
one, but faithful to the truth." 

llie elections of 1907 are particularly significant in this re- 
gard. For the first time Alsatians were divided into parties more 
or less associated with similar German parties. But during the 
electoral campaign the question at stake in the rest of Germany, 
one of colonial credits, was scarcely mentioned. The issue in 
Alsace was in part a religious one, but the one fact that each 
candidate strove to prove was that his party was more opposed 
to fusion with Germany than any other. A Socialist candidate 
said: " It is true that at school they tell us of German kind- 
ness and German honour and German generosity, but up to the 
present we have learned to know only Prussian pride, Prussian 
arbitrariness, Prussian arrogance." An Immigrant editor of the 
Maseevauw Landeezeitung belonging to the Catholic Centre Party 
said that, having been bom in the Rhenish provinces, he too had 
been annexed by Prussia and could consequently understand bet- 


All this was before the infamous Zabem Affair, which, 
according to " An Alsatian " writing in the Revue de 
Paris in 1914 (January 15, p. 267), six months before 
the outbreak of war, " roused to paroxysm the antipathy 
between Alsatians and Germans, an innate antipathy 
which had been fostered since the annexation by the evil 
treatment inflicted upon the conquered by the con- 

Von Calker, an exceptionally friendly Immigrant, 
said in the Beichstag during the investigation of the 
Zabem Affair : " I cry out in anguish. For sixteen 
years I have laboured to . . . reconcile natives and Im- 
migrants, and now we have arrived at the point where 
we may say : It's all come to nothing again 1 " ^ 

ter than anybody else the feelings of the Alsatians. At Metz 
the Immigrant candidate is fighting the Centre because, as he 
says, << it would inflict upon our dear Lorraine moral annexation 
after territorial annexation." The Centre candidate replies: 
** To support this candidate would be to renoimce tibe conquests of 
liberty achieved by the French Revolution." The Socialist can- 
didate attacks the one as a Prussian officer and the other as being 
affiliated with the Cerman Centre. And so the Prussian-baiting 
went merrily on! (Florent-Matter, pp. 179 ff.) 

In the elections immediately following tibie grant of a Constitu- 
tion in 1911, held on October 22, 1911 for the Landtae and 
on January 12, 1912, for the Reichstag, Alsace was still divided 
into political parties which during the campaign united on only 
one issue: hostility to (Germanism. The Alsace-Lorraine Catholic 
Centre officially renounced the (German Catholic Centre, which it 
accused of treachery; the Socialists invoked with the name of 
Jaur^ the memories of the Revolution; the Liberals demanded 
political autonomy, amnesty for refractory conscripts and the 
teaching of French, condemned the Pan-Germanists, demanded 
that access to public offices be made more open to natives, that 
the Immigrant functionaries abandon their German manners and 
inquisitorial habits; a Prussian Immigrant urged the citizens of 
Metz, in a French which was far from correct, not to belie the 
proud lessons of their fathers by voting for his adversary, a na- 
tive Lorrainer but a member of the Conservative Party. (Braun, 
in Questiona diplomatiques et colonialea, v. 33, 1912, p. 136.) 

2 Various means had been tried to win the provinces: the rela- 



Not only were the Alsatians no more Germanized in 
July, 19^14, than in 1871, not only was the influence of 
French culture, despite all obstades, spreading rapidly 
downward from the upper classes, but the Immigrants 
sent into Alsace to Germanize the country were becom- 
ing as Alsatian as the Alsatians, and even Gallicized! 
A great deal of sympathy has been wasted on the Immi- 
grants for their plight when Alsace returns to France. 
There are not many of them, about three hundred thou- 
sand, a very large part of 4em fanctionaries and sol- 
diers, out of a population of nearly two millions.' 
Many will no doubt return to Gtermany, but a very 
large number will prefer to become Frendi. 

Pierre Baudin, writing in the Jov/mal of January 19, 
1905, cites this remark of a judge speaking with an offi- 
cer, reported by one who heard it : " Instead of Ger- 
manizing, we are becoming French 1 " (Florent-Mat- 
ter, p. 214.) 

The writer of the article in the Berliner Neueste 
Nachrichten of April 8, 1907, already quoted, says: 

tively mild Manteuffel r^me (to 1887), repressive measures to 
1001, missionary work b^ the ''pioneers of culture" after 1901, 
repressive measures a^am after 1911; but, as Helmer (p. 175) 
says: "On the eve of the war (1914), the two groups seemed as 
irreconcilable as on the morrow of the annexation." 

sin 1910 there were in Alsace-Lorraine 371,822 Germans and 
foreigners. Of these 295,436 were Germans and 76,386 were for- 

''The 295,436 Germans can be classified as follows: 

Male civilians 108,444 Citizens of Prussia . . 174,468 

Females 111,494 Citizens of Bavaria. . 42,013 

Soldiers of Germany . . 75,498 Citizens of Baden . . . 39,495 

Citizens of the other 
states 39,460 

Total 295,436 Total 295,436" 

(Politicus, in Fortnightly Review, March, 1918, p. 388.) 


" The Old German [t. e,. Immigrant] functionaries 
complain that their children are becoming Gallicized." 

We have already seen (Chapter I) that hostility to 
Germany is greatest in the Qerman-spealdng centres 
like Colmar, and that the masses share with the upper 
classes this antipathy. We have heard Germans com- 
menting on the persistence, and even the alarming 
spread, of French language and culture despite all ad- 
ministrative restrictions, the total collapse of the at- 
tempt to Germanize Alsace being summed up in these 
words of the Journal de Oeneve: " The Alsatians are 
not becoming Germans, the Germans are becoming Al- 

Two Belgian journalists, Dumont-Wilden and Sou- 
guenet, travelled through Alsace-Lorraine in 1912 on 
foot and on bicycles. The book in which they related 
their experiences. The Victory of the Vanquished, 
contains a mass of first-hand evidence as to the failure 
of G^rmanization in all classes, high and low. 

The correspondent sent by the Gazette de Lausanne 
to study the situation created by the Zabem affair, 
writes in January, 1914: " The complete bankruptcy 
of the effort at Germanization is one of the discoveries 
that strikes the investigator most forcibly. In sur- 
roundings partly Germanized, the German remains a 
stranger here; and Alsatian vitality is powerful 
enough, not only to triumphantly resist all attempts at 
unification, but even to begin to assimilate the Immi- 
grants themselves.*^ (Quoted by Dauzat, in Reime poli- 
tique et parlementaire, v. 88, 1916, p. 352.) 


The part that Alsatian women have played in this 
resistance to Germanism has been recognized with bitter 
resentment by German writers. 


Bismarck is quoted as having warned the present 
Kaiser: ^' The Emperor's power ceases on the 
threshold of a woman's drawing-room." 

It is notorious that when a German Immigrant mar- 
ries a Pole, a Dane or an Alsatian, the children are al- 
most invariably not Germans, but Poles, Danes or Alsa- 
tians. There has been almost no intermarriage between 
Immigrants and Germans among the higher classes in 
Alsace; in the lower classes intermarriage is more fre- 
quent, but through the influence of the mother the chil- 
dren are Alsatian, usually as anti-German as the rest of 
the population. 

It was hoped that the schools would Germanize the 
girls as well as the boys.* Recently the Empress visited 
a girls' school near Metz. According to her habit she 
asked the children to make a wish and promised to 
gratify it. They hesitated. She insisted. One of 
them finally said : " We wish we might learn French." 
The Empress kept hfer word. (Hinzelin, p. 138.) 

The Tdgliche Rundschau says (August 5, 1915) : 
" The Alsatian women, who, on account of the instruc- 
tion they had received, lacked close attachment to the 
German nationality, language, literature and history, 
who were, on the contrary, all permeated by the French 
spirit, have had such influence over their husbands and 
children, that soon in these, too, German culture was 
dominated and smothered by a Franco- Alsatian pseudo- 
culture: the love of our literature and of our history, 
the intelligent knowledge of the civilization and effort 

4 The net result of Germanization of boys through the schools 
is indicated by the official Strasahurger Post, which admitted in 
July, 1916, that the young men who had received their training 
in Cierman imiversities and upon whom, consequently, Germany 
had with reason expected to rely, showed more and more, in the 
very midst of war, their sympathy for France. (Wetterl6, 
UAhaoe-Lorraine doit . . ., p. 213.) 


of our people, which they (the men) had acquired in the 
schools and strengthened in the universities did not re- 
sist the graces of the Alsatian women; these Glerman 
virtues were blighted and dried up in the home, when 
they were not killed there." (Quoted by Fribourg, p. 

Rulandy a Pan-Qermanist lawyer of .Colmar, an 
Immigrant, in a pamphlet called Deutschtum und 
Franzosentum in Elsass-Lothringen, fiercely denounced 
the women of Alsace, and declared that if tiie efforts at 
Germanization had produced but insignificant results, it 
was the women, first of all, who were responsible. 
(Wetterle, L^ Alsace-Lorraine doit . . ., p. 78.) 

The Strassburger Post, the organ of the Glermanizers, 
marshals its forces against the Alsatian women : 

" The combat we have to wage here behind the front 
for ^ Deutschtum,' " it declares on May 13, 1916, " is 
less a combat of men against men, than a struggle to win 
the Alsatian women. The men, those upon whom the 
future depends, are at the front : it is to be hoped that 
the tumult of battles will make them good Germans more 
quickly and more certainly than all the fine discourses 
and aU the reasonings that we might have been able to 
bring to bear here. 

" Well, let us act so that this seed may not be spoiled 
by the women when the soldiers come home. For it is 
especially the women who are coated with the French 
varnish. We had already, before the war, frequently 
noted that the friendly attitude of the husband to Ger- 
many, an attitude acquired in the German school and in 
German barracks, was destined to bow before the 
^ Frenchifying ^ ideas of the wife. In any case, cost 
what it may, the daughters of the Alsatian bourgeoisie 
must cease to resemble their mothers, or for many a long 


year we shall have no peace." (Quoted by Friboui^, 
p. 59.) 


A German official who had married an Alsatian 
woman and had passed his life among the Alsatian peo- 
ple said about 1911 to Stoddard Dewey: "We have 
been absolute masters here 40 years and we are further 
from reconciling the natives to our rule than ever. I 
do not believe it will ever be done until all the natives 
of Alsace and Lorraine are driven out and the country 
is settled anew with bona fide Germans." (The Nation, 
New York, February 1, 1917, p. 127.) 

A Lorraine peasant said to Florent-Matter, who was 
passing through the country in 1908 : " Germanize us ! 
Why, sir, they'd need a century for that 1 Our young- 
sters are still French ; at home they forget very quickly 
the German they learn at school." (Florent-Matter, 
p. 32.) » 

5 The opinion of Professor Foerster, the famous savant of 
Munich, is of interest : " Alsace, a land thoroughly Germanic 
in origin, forty years after her restoration to Germany has still 
French sentiments to an astonishing degree, or at least no Ger- 
manophile sentiments. . . . After more than forty years we have 
not been able to re-Germanize this population." (Quoted in the 
Revfie de Paris, January 15, 1914, p. 275.) 

Preiss, who represented Alsace in the Reichstag, said in 1913 
in a speech at Brussels: 

" The resistance to Germanization is stronger now than it was 
twenty or even forty years ago; the conqueror has failed, com- 
pletely failed, in his attempt; in 1913, as in 1887 or 1871, the 
two antagonists are divided by an absolute incompatibility — we 
have no hatred for the Germans, we only feel that fusion with 
them is impossible." (Quoted by Dimnet in Nineteenth Century, 
September, 1917, p. 627.) 

Novicow, a Russian observer, writes in 1913: "Far from be- 
ing Germanized in the slightest degree, Alsace is less German 
today than she was in 1870. ... It may be boldly affirmed that 
the number of indigenous Alsatians feeling today more sympathy 


In April, 1916, the Kolnische Volhszeiitung said: 
^^ It must be frankly admitted that there is an Alsace- 
Lorraine question and that Germanization has failed 
utterly." (Wetterle, UAtsace-Lorraine doit . . ., p. 

In July, 1917, the Kieler Zeitung expressed itself as 
follows on the results of Germanization in Alsace-Lor- 
raine : ^^ The wise conservatives thought that, thanks 
to the reunion under the established rule of the Empire, 
they could reconcile two provinces different from each 
other, and having in common only an arrogant defiance 
of the ambitions of the Empire." (Quoted from the 
Matin of July 18, 1917, by Blumenlial, p. 58.) 

In the DetUsche Politih of January 18, 1918, Pro- 
fessor Martin Fassbender added his denunciation of 
German methods in Alsace to the many already uttered 
by Harden, Delbriick and others. (A passage from this 
article is quoted above, pp. 27-28.) He says further: 
" The French base their claims to Alsace on the fact 
that the Alsatians are attached in their hearts to France. 
This, unfortunately, is only too true. The reproach, 
levelled at us, that we do not understand how to assimi- 
late conquered territories, is well founded, and it is a 
phenomenon which merits our best attention. 

" With us Germans an administration of such a na- 
ture [as that of the French in Alsace] is impossible. 

for Germany than for any other nation (that is, feeling them- 
selvefl to be Grerman) has not increased by one since 1870." 
(Novicow, p. 162.) 

A high Lutheran dignitary, Hermann Bezzel, wrote in 1913: 
" A week's journeying in Alsace-Lorraine, including the German, 
speaking part of the latter, has taught me to my deep sorrow 
that the inhabitants may indeed take advantage of German cul- 
ture and of the German administration, especially as regards 
public assistance, but in their hearts they remain none the less 
French." ( Quoted by M. L. Puech in La Paiw par le Droit, v. 27, 
1917, p. 301.) 


Ours is a regime which admits of no change. Hence, 
when the functionaries of such a regime treat the inhabi- 
tants badly, it is difScult to conciliate them and even 
naore difficult to assimilate them. 

" That is why Alsace-Lorraine will always remain an 
open sore in the German body politic." (Associated 
Press correspondence from London, dated February 28, 
1918, printed in American papers of March 25.) • 


German officialdom had even before the war given up 
the task of pacification. Hohenlohe had suspected that 
the harsh measures imposed after the elections of 1887 
were prompted by a desire to drive the people to des- 
peration, wh6n they would revolt, be reconquered and 
annexed to Prussia. Annexation to Prussia, or parti- 
tion between Prussia, Bavaria and Baden, seemed to 
many eminent Germans then the only solution of the 
problem. This is, apparently, the prevailing view to- 
day. The Constitution of 1911 infuriated the Alsa- 
tians and gave rise to serious anti-German outbreaks. 

A few years ago Professor Otf ried Nippold had confessed Ger- 
many's failure in the following words: "When one looks back 
into the history of Europe during the last forty years, it seems 
inconceivable that any one can be unwilling to admit that the 
annexation of Alsace-Lorraine was a political mistake," and " that 
the Germans have shown themselves incompetent in their govern- 
ment of the people of Alsace-Lorraine." (Quoted by the War 
Cyclopedia, Committee on Public Information, Washington, p. 12.) 

The Tagliehe Rundschau writes on January 13, 1918: "One 
cannot wonder that the Alsatian, when he turns himself to- 
wards France, should be in such a high degree conscious of his 
own value, whereas he loses such consciousness when he turns 
himself towards Germany, which seeks to imprison the Alsatian 
mind in a narrow cage and is unable to give it a field for activ. 
ity and expansion. Unfortunately the example of France has 
never been of any use to the Germans; yet if we do not imitate 
France we shall never win over the soul of the people of Alsace- 
Lorraine." (Quoted in Edinburgh Review, April, 1018, p. 337.) 


The Kaiser came to Strasbourg in great wrath on May 
13, 1912, and made the following address: "If this 
keeps up, I shall knock your Constitution to bits (zer- 
schmettem). Up to the present you have known me 
from my good side, but you can perhaps learn to know 
me from the other side also. If things do not change, 
we shall make of, Alsace-Lorraine a Prussian province." 
(Gauss, The German Emperor as Shown in His Pvhlic 
Utterances, 1915, p. 68.) '^ 

There was, perhaps, more in this extraordinary speech 
than mere imperial petulance, and it is by no means un- 
likely that the insane provocation of the wretched prov- 
inces during the Zabem Affair of the following year 
was a part of the plan mentioned above, — to drive the 
population to revolt and then reduce Alsace to what, as 
the Kaiser implied, would seem to its inhabitants the 
final degradation, annexation to Prussia.® 

It was during the agitation arising out of the Zabem 

7 The Immigrant organ, the Stmsahurger Post, summarized in 
1898 the attitude of the (German Empire towards the Alsatians 
in the phrase Oderint dum metuant {" Let them hate, so long as 
they fear"). (Blumenthal, p., 39.) 

8 This speech was one of the irrepressible Kaiser's indiscretions 
and roused much indignation in Liberal Germany. Poor Beth- 
man-HoUweg, as Chancellor, had to defend his royal master. He 
did it lamely enough, as usual throwing the blame on the news- 
papers: the Kaiser must be free to say what he pleases, but the 
newspapers must be careful what they print. In his speech in 
the Reichstag on May 17, 1912, he said: ''It is astonishing 
that politicians in Alsace-Lorraine think the time has come to 
take from the Empire and transport to their country constitu- 
tional legislation concerning the Reichsland. Such a thing is im- 
possible. Alsace-Lorraine is the ReichsUmd (Land of &e Em- 
pire). Tbe Bimdesrat and the Reichstag alone have the prerog- 
ative of considering whether, some day or other, the moment 
will come to modify the Constitution of Alsace-Lorraine, and in 
what manner it is to be modified." (Quoted by Questions diplo- 
matiques et coloniales, v. 33, 1912, p. 692.) 

The Socialist Scheidemann said in the Reichstag that the words 
of the Kaiser were ''an avowal of great weight, issued from a 


Affair that the Chancellor, Bethmann-HoUweg, said in 
the Keichstag on December 4, 1913 : " We shall never 
make any progress in Alsace-Lorraine unless we abandon 
the fruitless attempt to turn the South Germans of the 
Beichsland into North German Prussians.'^ (London 
Times, December 5, 1913.) Von Jagow, prefect of 
police at Berlin, confirmed ihe right of Alsace and Lor- 
raine to an unconditional re-incorporation in the French 
state at the next council of peace, when he said in an 
article published on December 22, 1913, in the Kreuz- 
Zeitung, forty-four years after 1870 and half a year 
before the crime of Serajevo : " Prussian officers sta- 
tioned in Alsace feel as if they were encamped in the 
enemy's country." (Dimnet, in Nineteenth Century, 
September, 1917, p. 527.) The new Governor, Dall- 
witz, sent to Alsace to put an end to the disorders aris- 
ing from the Zabem Affair, declared that " French in- 
fluence and French sympathies are stronger than ever." 
(Duhem, p. 80.) Two months later, war was declared.® 
The Constitution of 1911, a disgraceful mockery of 
the elementary rights of man, and the Zabem affair, 
were Germany's reply to Alsace's despairing appeal to 
be allowed to live. War came. Alsace and France had 
striven by every compromise to avoid it ; both countries 
were ready to accept as a solution of the whole problem 
the autonomy of Alsace-Lorraine within the German 
Empire. When Germany entered France at the begin- 

competent source, that annexation to Prussia is ... a punish- 
ment equivalent to penal servitude with loss of civic rights.'' 
(Quoted by Barth, in Revue des Sciences politiquea, v. 28, 1912, 
p. 219.) 

9 In July, 1914, Liebknecht was returning from a Socialist 
Congress of protest against war. Passing through Belfort, he 
was profoundly impressed by his meeting with a crowd of Al- 
satians who had come there to join the French in the celebration 
of their national holiday. He wrote later : ** This memory is 
graven on my mind as with a hot iron. It accompanies me 
wherever I go.*' (Ihihem, p. 92.) 


ning of August, 1914, technically she tore up the Treaty 
of Frankfort; ^^ morally the infamous treaty had been 
annulled already by the plebiscite involved in over forty 
years of anguished protest. 


It is utterly impossible for Alsatians and Germans to 
live in peace side by side; their national spirits are as 
far asunder as the poles. 

Ziegler rightly said : " Two centuries of history 
lived in common with the great nation of France have 
made Alsatians and Lorrainers Frenchmen.'' And his 
colleague Wittich's careful study of the problem points 
directly to the conclusion that Alsatians are thoroughly 
French, are constitutionally anti-German, and can be 
happy only within the boundaries of the nation from 
which they were torn in 1870. Wittich shows that they 
are French, and totally different from the Germans, in 
their democratic ideals and in their complete lack of 
monarchical sentiment and senge of class distinction 
(pp. 789-790). He is in entire agreement with the 
learned Alsatian historian, Rodolphe Reuss, who, writ- 
ing in 1912, indicates the source of this similarity with 
the French and of this difference from the Germans: 

" At the beginning our province was still foreign to 
the kingdom in many points ; it is the Revolution that 
brought about the fusion in its immense furnace . • • 
especially by appealing . . . to our traditional love of 
liberty. On the whole, the Revolution exerted upon the 

* 10 The Treaty of Frankfort itself recognizes the fact that war 
annuls existing treaties. Article 11 reads: "Treaties of com- 
merce with the different states of Germany haying been annulled 
by the war, the French Goyernment and tne German Goyemment 
will take as the basis of their commercial relations the most- 
fayoured-nation system." (The text of the treaty is giyen in full 
in Delahache, pp. 201 ff.) 


generations of that day and of the days to come a pro- 
found and durable influence ; the impress which Alsace 
received from that memorable epoch differentiate still 
today, after forty years of annexation, the inhabitants 
of its cities, big and little, the Alsatian workingmen and 
peasants, from the peasants and bourgeois across the 
Rhine. And the reason is that they were liberated by 
the Revolution from the yoke of monarchical supersti- 
tion ; that they have preserved the memory, more or less 
precise, the impression more or less clear, but inefface- 
able, of that collection of lofty doctrines, of aspirations 
for brotherhood, of visions of the future which are sum- 
marized in the expression 'the principles of ^89/ 
These principles may be declared elsewhere erroneous 
or absurd, but those who have lived under their in- 
spiration will nevet free themselves from it." (Reuss, 
Histoire, p. 308.) 

Only one phase of Germanism has proved acceptable 
to Alsatians, according to Wittich (p. 871) : "What- 
ever one may think of the Social-Democratic theories," 
he says, " they are, nevertheless, incontestably the only 
product of the German national genius that has won the 
real sympathy of any considerable fraction of the South 
Alsatian population." *^ However much the Social- 
Democratic principles may owe tq men like Marx, Bebel 
and Liebknecht, all of whom looked upon the Treaty of 
Frankfort as a monstrous iniquity, and even though 
these principles came to Alsace from Germany, it is cer- 
tainly true that they are French in origin, are a natural 
product of the French national genius and alien to the 
German spirit. Those few brave German souls who 

11 Wittich adds, very significantly: " . . , and it is precisely 
this fact, that they come from Germany, that retards the exten- 
sion of Social-Democratic ideas in Alsace." 

On the anti-German attitude of the Socialists in Alsace, see 
Brocard, in Bevue politique ei parlementaire, v. 64, 1910, p. 62. 


represent them today are either in prison with the 
younger Liebknecht or in Switzerland editing the Freie 

Only dreamers imagine that Germany will change in a 
day. The cancer which infects the whole nation at the 
present moment will not be eradicated even if the Allies 
succeed in administering a crushing defeat to the mili- 
taristic party. It jwill be many long years before Social- 
Democratic or any shade of democratic theories will be 
other than foreign to the German spirit. Consequently, 
a people such as the Alsatians, which, according to an 
official German professor, has received with sympathy 
from Germany nothing but demx)cratic principles, can 
enjoy peace, prosperity and the free pursuit of happi- 
ness only after its life is reunited with that of its old 



All Alsatians were autonomists before August, 1914; 
there are few autonomists left now. 

Alsace's representatives declared in 1871 and 1874 
that the Treaty of Frankfort which disposed of them 
" like cattle " was invalid, and they issued this warning 
to the world : 

" By these presents we proclaim for ever inviolable the 
right of Alsatians and Lorrainers to remain members of 
the French nation, and we swear, for ourselves and our 
constituents, for our children and their descendants, 
to claim that right eternally and by all means against 
any and all usurpers/' 

The sons of Grosjean, Keller, Teutsch, strove loyally 
to keep the peace of the world. The fatal hour struck 
through no fault of theirs, and they now claim their 
" right " to return to France and " remain members of 
the French nation." 

There are few autonomists in Alsace now. The Abb6 
Wetterle, one of the most distinguished leaders of the 
autonomists of the period before the war, declared the 
other day: " We could not, without exposing ourselves 
to prosecution on the charge of high treason, adopt a 
frankly separatist political program, and so had become, 
in a spirit of opportunism, militant autonomists." 
{Revue dea Deux Mondes, September 15, 1917, p. 
410.) 1 

iHe had written in La NouvellUte d^Ahcice-Lorraine, June 2, 



Those leaders of the autonomists who were able to do 
so fled to France : Wetterl6, Blumenthal, Helmer, Weill, 
Laugel, Collin, Zislin and many others; Hansi had 
taken refuge in France a month or two before the war 
to escape a prison sentence. Preiss died in a German 
prison with many others of less renown. Samain was 
incarcerated at Coblentz until he was sent to the Russian 
front, where he was killed. In Alsace today the term 
for prison is "Hotel de France," a title facetiously 
conferred by the very large number of prisoners who 
comfort themselves with the reflection: " At least we 
are in good society here." 

The Germans, as we have already seen, realized that 
the demand for autonomy covered a desire to return to 
France. After the outbreak of war they came to under- 
stand that the protests of 1871 and 1874 were still a 
living force in the world. The Easier Nachrichten of 
June 29, 1917, gives an account of a desperate attempt 
to have Ae obnoxious declarations repealed. The Alsa- 
tian Landtag convened on June 5. The evening be- 
fore, the Chancellor in person came to Strasbourg to 
bring pressure to bear in order to secure a vote favour- 
able to Germany. He failed. Only the presidents of 
the two chambers were ready to obey his orders. The 
Gterman newspapers have pretended that their state- 
ments were enthusiastically acclaimed. As a matter of 
fact the deputies who applauded could be counted on the 
fingers of the two hands. Most of the assembly had left 
the hall in protest.^ 

1010: ''We should be entirely satisfied if we could obtain com- 
plete autonomy, equal in every point to that enjoyed by the 
Confederated States; that is the goal we aim at." (Quoted by 
Bourdon, The Oerman Enigma, p. 318.) 

'The' Parliament of Alsace-Lorraine has practically ceased to 
exist. On April 12, 10 IS, out of sixty deputies who compose the 
second chamber, five appeared. The Berliner Tageblatt, on April 


The Socialist Siidekum had come at the same time 
with the Chancellor to work with the members of his 
party, fairly numerous in the Lower House, and to ob- 
tain their signatures, which he was to carry to Stock- 
holnL He went away without a single name. Fur- 
thermore, the Bishops of Strasbourg and of Metz are 
members of the Upper House. Both are Germans, sent 
to the provinces to hold in check an indocile clergy. 
Both rose and declared that their consciences would not 
permit them to ask in the name of the people an expres- 
sion of devotion to Germany. (Bidletin de V Alliance 
frangaise, August 1, 1917; Dimnet, in Nineteenth Cerir 
tury, Septemter, 1917, p. 528.) 

A German Swiss, von Arx, writing in the Freie Zeu 
tung of October 3, 1917, passes the unescapable judg- 
ment on the Chancellor's signal failure : " The whole 
mentality of the Alsatian people, all their thoughts, all 
their feelings, are French. The world is witness that 
your manner of governing has had the result that you are 
today still as much foreigners in the eyes of the people 
of Alsace-Lorraine as you were on the day you annexed 
them." (Quoted in Le Temps, October 17, 1917.) 


The Alsatians have always been a military people. 
They have good reason to be proud of their record in 
the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. But they have 
not been able to bring themselves to fight under the Ger- 
man flag. Just before the present war, Alsace could 
claim a higher percentage of superior officers in the 
French army than any French province. According to 
the official statistics of the French War Department, 

24, commented on the significance of what it calls '' the mute pro- 
test of the Alsatian and Lorraine deputies." (Le Temps, May 6, 


there were in 1914 in the Frendi Army 20 generals, 145 
superior officers, and 4000 ordinary officers, of Alsatian 
origin. In the German Army at this time there were 
four officers of Alsatian origin. The names of these 
four are well known to all Alsatians^ and only two of 
them, are pure Alsatians. (Dimnet, I. c, p. 516 ; Hin- 
zelin, p. 155 ; S. Lauzanne, in World's Work, February, 
1918, p. 392.) 

From 1871 on, large numbers of Alsatian boys, un- 
able to endure the thought of serving in the German 
army, deserted home and family for ever and enlisted in 
the French Foreign Legion. Germany did everything 
possible to prevent this. After 1900, in particular, a 
vigorous campaign was waged in the press warning Alsa- 
tian parents of the misery their sons were sure to suffer 
fighting in tropical countries under the banner of the 
Foreign Legion. There was formed, even, a Society 
for Protection against the Foreign Legion. Notwith- 
standing all this, the desertions continued; and in the 
one year 1912, 1023 boys from Germany's Eeichsland 
enlisted in the Legion, a greater mimher than daring any 
year since 1871. (Hinzelin, pp. 23 ff.) 

No French department, in proportion to population, 
has lost as many sons as Alsace-Lorraine in the cam- 
paigns conducted by France since 1871. (Hinzelin, 
Cceurs . . ., p. 232.)* 

TreatmerU of Alsatian Soldiers 


In July, 1914, German officers were well aware of 

s Alsatian leaders endeavoured to prevent the desertion of young 
men, realizing how disastrous to Alsace the continued emigration 
of her youth had been. Notwithstanding this, enrolments in the 
Foreign L^on increased steadily, and general emigration, ac- 


the fact that the Alsatians could not be relied upon. 
Between fifteen and twenty thousand young men who 
had served in the German army escaped to France dur- 
ing the mobilization and the first weeks of the war, 
despite the fact that all deserters knew that by their 
action they forfeited all their property and brought 
persecution to their relatives left behind.* 

At Mulhouse, in one proclamation, 773 boys bom in 
the single year 1892 were declared deserters and ordered 
to appear before the court on March 1, 1915. On De- 
cember 10, 1915, in one proclamation of the war-council 
of the 58th Infantry brigade of Freiburg and Miilheim, 
the names of 300 deserters were made known. (Fri- 
bourg, p. 131.) Throughout Alsace the number of de- 
serters would have been much larger if the German staff 
had not prudently transferred the Alsatians to the Rus- 
sian front. 

A secret order of the Ministry of War, dated January 
11, 1916, headed " Concerning the withdrawal of Alsa- 
tian and Lorraine soldiers from the West front," runs 
as follows: 

'^ On account of numerous demonstrations of anti- 
German tendencies on the part of Alsatians and Lor- 
rainers, it has been proposed to transfer all Alsatian and 
Lorraine soldiers to the interior of Germany or to the 

cording to official fif^ii^eB) mounted after 1007 till in 1912 it al- 
most reached the high percentage of the period 1873-1881. 

Percentage of Emigration 

1873-1881 70.4% 

1907 52.9% 

1912 68.6% 

{Statistische Jahrhucher fUr Elaase-Lolfhrvngen, 1913-14, pp. 
43, 45; quoted in Edinburgh Review, April, 1918, p. 335.) 

* Many of these deserters did not know a word of French, and it 
was necessary to find godmothers capable of corresponding with 
them in Grerman. (Puech, in La Paix par le Droit, v. 27, 1917, p. 


East front, without any consideration of the reputation 
or previous record of these soldiers, or of the recommen- 
dations of their superiors. • 

" After careful study of the question, and with the 
approval of the general staff, the minister of war con- 
siders sufficient the measures taken in regard to the 
withdrawal from the West front of Alsatians and Lor- 
rainers subject to mobilization. Therefore, he gives up 
the plan of transferring indiscriminately aU Alsatian 
and Lorraine soldiers either to the interior or to the 
East front. On the other hand, it seems advisable to 
remove Alsatians and Lorrainers from all service and 
posts in the rear, where they might acquiiie information 
as to the organization of the army and as to measures of 
a military nature. Also, it will be well to relieve of 
their duties Alsatians and Lorrainers employed by 
superior officers or staffs, such as orderlies, liaison-men 
or secretaries. . . . Von Wandel.^' (Fribourg, p. 
136.) « 

As if this were not sufficient evidence of the iniquity 
of German rule and the hatred of Alsatians for Ger- 
many, fortune has brought us an order dated a month 
later (February, 1916), which proves that Alsatians* 
were not to be trusted in Germany's service even to the 
limited extent indicated above. This order is signed by 
Badecke, Major, for the ad interim commander of the 
14th army corps, and runs as follows : " It is indispen- 
sable to act in conformity with the ministerial decision. 
All Alsatians and Lorrainers are to be relieved of their 
functions and sent to the front. In the future all Alsa- 

B Ab early as 1912, at the time when experiments were being 
made with new guns, Alsatians and Lorrainers were kept away 
from batteries of artillery. In 1913, by order of General von 
Mudra, commander of the 16th army corps at Metz, they were ex- 
cluded from service on the telegraph, telephone and railway sys- 
tems. {BuUetm de V Alliance franQoiae, April, 1018, p. 41.) 


tians and Lorrainers capable of bearing arms are to be 
sent directly to headquarters, whence they will be trans- 
ferred to the Eastern armies. A report is requested be- 
fore April 1, 1916/'* (Quoted by Bulletin protest- 
ant frangais, August, 1917, p. 4.) 

The following regimental order signed by Von Bibra, 
Colonel of the 34th Regiment of Infantry, 80th Re- 
serve Division, was published in the Freie Zeitiung of 
November 21, 1917: 

" January 25, 1917. 

^^ As in the past few days three Alsatians have gone 
over to the enemy, all Alsatians and Lorrainers in the 
r^ent are declared to be under guspicion. They 
will be withdrawn from the front tonight, quartered 
apart and employed as labourers on the high ground. . . • 
All conversation with civilians or with soldiers in the 
regiment is prohibited. All men from Alsace-Lorraine 
will be deprived of their privileges. Any mention of 
these measures made in letters or otherwise will be re- 
garded as an offence against the law concerning the 
preservation of service secrets and most severely pun- 
ished.'^ (Quoted by Le Temps, November 22, 1917.) 

In 1915, Dimnet met a soldier who was taken pris- 
oner by a German patrol consisting of more than thirty 
men; these were Alsatians, and their sergeant trusted 
them enough to set the Frenchman free that night. If 
only one of the thirty had been willing, he could have 
gained a reward by reporting the sergeant. The fact 
that this officer could trust thirty men is a remarkable 
indication of the attitude toward France of Alsatians in 
the German army. (Dimnet, in Nineteenth Century, 
September, 1917, p. 628.) 

Professor Martin Spalm of the Catholic faculty of 
the University of Strasbourg, one of the leaders of the 
Catholic centre, writing in the Suddeutsche Monats- 


hefte for August, 1914, says of the Alsatian soldiers: 
" Our patriotic songs, such as Die Wacht am Rhein and 
Deutschland uber Alles, are merely good marching 
songs to them/' (Quoted by Blumenthal, Contempo- 
rary Review, May, 1917, p. 512.) 

The Volksrecht, a socialist paper of Zurich, pub- 
lished nine circulars, telegrams and confidential re- 
ports issued by the Prussian ministry of war and the 
general staff. They are concerned with German propa- 
ianda in camps of prisoners, Mohammedans, Irish ^d 
others. On the margin of one of these, General von 
Loynfeld, military commander of the Berlin region, 
wrote the following: " The Alsatians are as foreign to 
us as the Irish to the EnglisL The Lorrainers are 
French.'^ (Le Temps, November 9, 1917.) 

It is evident that Alsatians who did not desert to 
France are not fighting willingly for Germany, and 
they receive such treatment as might be expected from 
the officers who directed the exploits recounted in the 
Bryce report. It was, apparently, not feasible to use 
them all on the Eastern front. Many were forced into 
battle against the Western allies, even against the 

" At the time of my first leave in the spring of 1915,'* 
relates an Alsatian, " I found the whole village im- 
bued with sentiments of a violence I should never have 
suspected. It was genuine hate. It was then only that 
I felt the truth of what the Bavarian soldiers of my 
regiment used to repeat : ^ The Alsatians and Lorrain- 
ers are French to the marrow of their bones.' " On 
his second leave, in 1916, his father said to him : " One 
day the French will return here; I can't endure the 
idea that you should be fighting against them." On the 
third occasion, in May, 1917, as the son confided to 
his parents that he would desert if he did not fear 


reprisals upon them, his mother replied : ^^ That is 
no reason at all.'' It was then that he crossed the fron- 
tier. (BuUetin de VAUicmce frangaise, December, 
1917, p. 135.) 

The following extracts are from a letter published in 
the EtoUe de VEst, November 17, 1915 : 
' " At Cologne I was put in a regiment in which there 
were already some Alsatians and Lorrainers. Our life 
was one long martyrdom. There are no evil treatments, 
irritations, and cruelties the Germjans did not inflict 
upon us. They were well aware that our hearts were 
beating for France. They made us pay dearly for our 
attachment to our old fatherland. When officers passed 
near us, they cried: 'Ah! There are the WacTces 
(vagabonds). You're going to die, all of you, you 
French dogs.' And they beat us with their whips. 
For nine days they gave us nothing to eat but dried-up 
crusts. We hadn't even anything to drink. Finally, 
on the tenth day they served us a little soup and meat. 
After this single repast, we were sent to the front. We 
received our baptism of fire at Huy. All the Alsatians 
and Lorrainers were put in the first rank. The fire of 
the Belgians decimated them. Out of 135 of us in the 
same regiment, only 47 were left, and two of these 
were shot on the pretext that they had made signals 
to the enemy. In the evening after the battle an offi- 
cer told us that we were to be treated thus in all com- 
bats till not a single one of us remained. . . • That 
evening the 45 survivors swore to profit by the first op- 
portunity to escape. . . . Unfortunately we were under 
unremitting surveillance. Nevertheless, many of our 
comrades resolved to try. ... In the midst of a com- 
bat they ran toward the French lines with their hands 
up, but as the Germans often resort to this trick to de- 
ceive the French, the latter thought it was a new trap 


and shot down our friends. . . . Finally, during the 
battle around Ypres, we found ourselves suddenly in the 
presence of a French detachment ; we immediately threw 
down our arms and cried out that we surrendered. 
When they learned our nationality, the soldiers did 
everything possible for us. Now we ask only one thing : 
to enlist in the French army and fight our tormentors." 
(Fribourg, p. 143.) 

An Alsatian sergeant in the French army related the 
following incident to Fribourg. He was in a trench 
only a few metres from an enemy listening-post. One 
night he heard the men in the post talking the Alsatian 
German dialect. He called out to them : " Hey there, 
Alsatians! Come over herel I'm a WacJce too." 
" We'd come fast enough," replied a voice, " but the non- 
com's up there." " I'll take care of him 1 " said the 
sergeant. He left the trench, found himself face to 
face with the "non-com," a German Pole, and killed 
him. The twenty-five men from the listening-post, who 
belonged to the 99th infantry of Zabern, went over to 
the French trench and refused to leave it to go to the 
rear till they had emptied their cartridge belts on their 
former brothers-in-arms. (Fribourg, pp. 144-145.) 

The Abbe Wetterle tells the story of a certain Jean, 
one of his Colmar friends. Jean was in Dresden at 
the outbreak of the war, and was enrolled in a Saxon 
regiment. He wrote to his father: "We leave to- 
morrow for the frontier. You know my feelings and 
you will appreciate my sorrow and my shame. I swear 
I diall not fire on French troops." Jean kept his word. 
At the beginning of September, during the battle of the 
Mame, he was in the front line, south of Chalons. 

" Sergeant, your aim is defective," said his lieutenant. 
" All your balls strike the earth a hundred yards in front 
of you. Look out ! " 


Jean continued to fire. 

" I understand," cried the officer suddenly. " You 
are all traitors, you Alsatian dogs I It is time to make 
an example of you." 

With his revolver he shot Jean in the head, saying to 
his men : " That's the way the friends of France die," 
(Wetterle, Ce qa* etait . . ., pp. 194 flF.) 

Early in the war a young Alsatian from the neigh- 
hourhood of Mulhouse wrote to a relative a letter from 
which the following extracts are detached: 

" We left . . . for the trenches near Ypres. What 
we did there, what we endured there, I could not de- 
scribe to you. Often I wished there were a ball for 
me; but I was always lucky. • • • 

^^I stayed there till MarcL Then came an order 
to remove all Alsatians. They got us together and 
we were marched to the rear. . . . There were about 
two hundred of us from our regiment. We were sent 
to Hamburg. There we learned what was to be done 
with us. A captain made us a speech in which he said: 
^ Alsatians have French leanings ; they . are deserters 
and are to be sent to Kussia.' He told us further that 
we were mangy dogs, miserable reptiles, that we were 
not worthy of dying the death of heroes in the trenches, 
and that we ought to be shot then and there. ... We 
were incorporated in new regiments and sent to Eussia. 

" We were sent to the front on foot, to Suwalki ; there 
all was worse even than in Belgium. No rest, night or 
day. . . . We were devoured by vermin. Often we 
went days without being able to wash ; as for changing 
our linen, no one thought of such a thing. From March 
16th to the end of May, I had on my back the same 
shirt . . . But the worst was hunger. . . . Finally my 
deliverance came ... I was wounded . • •" (Fri- 
bourg, p. 141.) 


In March, 1917, in the Main Gonunittee of the 
Beichstag, the question of German tyranny in Alsace 
and Lorraine was brought up. The Centre Party Dep- 
uty, Herr Fehrenbach, — it is not only the Socialists 
who are revolted by the treatment of Alsace, — threat- 
ened that, unless adequate assurances were given, he 
would expose in detail in the Reichstag itself " the whole 
evil business." 

" Meanwhile, even the censored Committee report is 
eloquent enough. Herr Miiller, Eadical Deputy for 
Meiningen, said that the system of police provocation 
could not be allowed to continue, and that the military 
authorities prevented soldiers whose homes were in Al- 
sace-Lorraine from going home on leave. The Min- 
ister of War, General von Stein, defended the author- 
ities by admitting that a great part of the population 
was hostile to Germany. He actually declared that 
ninety per cerU. of the letters examined by the censor- 
ship incited soldiers to desert The Socialist Deputy 
Herr Bohle said that when soldiers from Alsace-Lor- 
raine are granted leave, consent has to be obtained from 
the oflScials in Alsace-Lorraine and is constantly re- 
fused. He could not believe that ninety per cent, of 
the letters from home were incitement to desertion, but 
said that, if it were so, the fact was sufficiently explained 
by the state of the administration in Alsace-Lorraine. 
He had himself made efforts to obtain the redress of 
injustices, but the military authorities said that their 
only concern was the ' protection of the military,' and 
that they ^ did not bother themselves about the political 
consequences.' At the beginning of the war there were 
thousands of volunteers from Alsace-Lorraine, but the 
feeling of the people had now entirely changed. 

" Only the Conservatives supported the Government 


in the debate." (London Times, March 30, 1917, p. 

Treatment of Civilians 

During the short-lived French oflfensive in Alsace 
early in the war^ French soldiers were grieved to dis- 
cover that not all Alsatians were friends. This un- 
friendliness, however, has been adequately explained; 
the population had every reason to fear that the French 
success was only temporary, and they knew what woidd 
happen after the return of the Germans to any who had 
aided the French. The Alsatians, especially the peas- 
ants, were already terrorized. But, despite «J1 menaces, 
the vast majority welcomed the French with heartfelt 
joy. Here are three quotations bearing on the point, — 
many others might be offered : 

^^ The French were received at Mulhouse with joyful 
rapture, and the tricolour hoisted on our Town Hall was 
saluted with cries of ^ Vive la France ! ' or ^ Vive la 
Eepublique I ' . . . Even today many people believe 
in the victory of France, because such is their secret 
wish. . . J^ {Breisgauer Zeitung, October 10, 1915.) 
" It is undeniable that the people of Mulhouse have lent 
aid to the French army, and that on a large scale.'' 
(Strassburger Post, July 17, 1915.) " The true spirit 
of the people was revealed to us, to say nothing of other 
things, in the welcome which the inhabitants of Gueb- 
willer gave to the French prisoners." {Kolnische 
Zeitung, February, 1915.) " The people [of Lorraine] 
have not a drop of water for the Germans and in par- 
ticular for our wounded comrades; whereas for the 
French soldiers they do all they can." (Letter from 
a Munich publicist, Jurineck, August, 1915.) ® 

« These quotations are taken by the Bulletin de V Alliance 
francaiae, April, 1919, p. 40, from an important work (which I 


If Von Jagow could say in January, 1914, that a Get- 
man army in Alsace-Lorraine was in enemy country, 
the feeling of such an army since July, 1914, when 
Alsace saw at last the hope of a return to France, may 
well be imagined. 

In general orders addressed to the Baden troops which 
crossed the Rhine in August, 1914, it is declared: 
" You are entering enemy coimtry and you are to treat 
the inhabitants accordingly." 

Several months later General Gaede, addressing his 
troops at Kaysersberg, said: "I like the country, 
but the population must be destroyed." (Wetterle, in 
Revue des Deux Mondes, August 1, 1917, p. 502.) 

Sanford Griffith says in the Outlook of December 
20, 1916 : ^^ More than once a German officer has told 
me : ^ We have to take the same precautions in Alsace 
as on the soil of the enemy^' " 

We have seen how Alsatians serving in the Kaiser's 
army are treated. It is, of course, not to be expected 
that Germans would treat civilians more gently than 
they do soldiersJ The misery endured by the con- 
quered provinces in the last four years can only be 
divined; after peace the gruesome story will be told. 
On March 23, 1917, the Socialist Wendel said in the 
Reichstag in a protest against the treatment of Alsa- 
tians : " If some day these people are able to tell the 

have not been able to see) on conditions in Alsace since 1914: 
Florent-Matter, Lea Ahaoiena-Lorraina oontre VAUenuigne, Paris, 
Berger-LeTraulty 1918. 

7 Von Arx, the German Swiss, in the Freie Zeitung of October 
3, 1917, denounces the persecution inflicted upon Alsace since 1914, 
and asks of the Germans: Why this wrath directed against a peo. 
pie whose sons have fallen at the side of yours? He answers his 
question: ''It is because if the people of Alsace-Lorraine gave 
their blood in your armies, their hearts were never yours, and on 
the very brow of the dead you could read the contradiction." 
(Quoted by Le Temps, October 17, 1917.) 


stotj of their fate, there will be a cry of indignation 
from the whole world." (Quoted by Creel, in the Inr 
dependent, February 23, 1918, p. 310.) 

The German mayor of Colmar, occupying the seat 
which is still Blumenthal's by right of election, posted 
the following proclamation: 

" On the occasion of the German victories on the East 
front, I had invited all right-minded inhabitants to 
decorate their houses with flags.. The invitation was 
definite and witiiin the limits of my authority. I re- 
gret to note that it was not at all observed. Among the 
so-called upper classes the abstention took on the char- 
acter of a veritable demonstration. Thus all my ef- 
forts to represent the population of Colmar as loyal and 
profoundly attached to Germany have failed most com- 
pletely, and it is my duty to ciall the attention of the 
inhabitants to the rigorous consequences which such an 
attitude cannot fail to have for their city and for them- 
selves." {Bulletin de V Alliance frtmgaise, September 1, 
1916, p. 44.) 

An appeal to subscribe to a war loan was posted in 
French and in German at Lindre-Basse, near Dieuze, 
in 1917. It runs in part as follows: 

" The Reichsland will never again beccane French. 

" Let every one rest assured of that. For the Ger- 
mans there can be no question of abandoning this coun- 

"If a withdrawal were possible, the Alsatians and 
Lorrainers would have to deplore it more than the other 

" It would be a recoil step by step, and every inch 
of the ground of Alsace-Lorraine would be reduced to 
the state of a desert by the attack and by the defence; 
let every inhabitant reflect upon it. 

" Let every one reflect upon this : that after the war 


the Gterman Empire will inquire very closely as to how 
the Beichsland has behaved during the war. 

" Fidelity and attachment shall have their rewards, 
as well as treason, and indifference — which mtist be 
considered on a level with treason." {Bulletin de VAJr 
liance franQaise, October 15, 1917, p. 96.) 

This reminds us of the Kaiser's declaration : " If I 
am forced to restore Alsace-Lorraine to France, I shall 
leave it bald as my hand." (Wetterle, in Bevue des 
Deux Mondes, August, 1917, p. 503.) 

The Strassburger Post said on April 11, 1917 : " Al- 
satian bonds are now paid for at a considerably higher 
rate than that of German securities of the same kind. 
Those who prefer to buy these bonds at such a high 
price, with the reassuring thought that nothing can hap- 
pen to them, since Alsatian bonds will, whatever hap- 
pens, become the securities of the victor, forget that 
beautiful Alsace, before falling into the hands of the 
enemy, would be laid waste and levelled to the ground 
like the lands abandoned on the Somme." (Quoted by 
BvMetin de V Alliance frangaise, April, 1918, p. 43.) 

It was not to be hoped that Alsace might escape the 
dire effects of the reign of terror systematically insti- 
tuted in other " enemy country." 

A very large nimiber of letters have been smuggled 
out since the war started. They all have the same tone. 
Here is one from an Alsatian woman in Strasbourg, 
written in 1916 : 

"How we have been suffering, how wretched we 
have been, especially for the last two weeks ! 

" A reign of terror has been inaugurated. We leave 
our houses only when it is necessary. We speak in low 
voices. We look about us suspiciously. Many ac- 
quaintances and friends have been expatriated and sen- 


tenced to prison, often twenty-four hours after arrest 
and without right of appeal. . . . 

" We are suspected, spied upon on all sides, by those 
whom we suppose least capable of doing it. A gesture, 
a word, a dust-cloth waved out of a window, have caused 
hundreds of people to be shot. . . • 

" It is not out of cowardice that our peasants do not 
welcome French troops very warmly. They are ter- 
rorized.'' (Fribourg, p. 34.) 

An example of German terrorization by means of 
spies and delation is the case of the lawyer Burger, an 
officer of reserves, who had given proof of a friendly 
attitude toward the conquerors. One day, speaking 
with one of his German colleagues, he said in a low 
voice, " in Fliistertone," according to the official accusa- 
tion: "Germany cannot deny, however, that she en- 
tered a neutral country, Belgium." The German and 
Burger were very intimate, — table-Jriends, " Stamm- 
tischf reunde." They said " thou '' and " thee " to each 
other. Burger's comrade denounced him to the mili- 
tary authorities, and he was condemned to eight months' 
imprisonment for having dared to speak of the invasion 
of Belgium by Germany " despite the articles of the 
N'orddevische Allgeimine Zeitung, which, as a well- 
informed man, ' als gebildeter Mensch,' he ought to have 
known." (Fribourg, p. 38.) 

A woman vmtes at the beginning of 1916 as follows: 

" We are overwhelmed here, terrorized, treated in an 
atrocious manner. The Boches are rendering them- 
selves so odious that the population vnll never forget 

Another : 

"At Cohnar . . . the Germans reign as masters, 
crushing the Alsatians beneath their boots, shooting 


some, imprisoning others, sending all they can to the 
otiier side of the Bhine; pillaging, sacking, burning 
everything. They say themselves, ^We are in enemy 
country here/ " 

The following incident is related in a letter: 
" One day two himdred French prisoners were be- 
ing marched through Strasbourg. Arriving in front of 
the station, they saw a girl come out dressed in the Al- 
satian costume, and all, officers and men, gave her the 
military salute. The poor girl was dreadfiilly confused, 
and those who witnessed the scene hid themselves to 
weep.'^ (Fribourg, pp. 35 ff.) 

The joy of Alsatians, in parts of their country defini- 
tively rescued from Germany, has been frequently and 
vividly attested by American newspaper correspondents, 


The prisons of Alsace, " Hotels de France,^' do not 
suffice to contain all the victims of German terrorization, 
petty or monstrous. 

On February 22, 1916, the sub-prefect of Boulay, 
considering that " in these times of war the population 
of Lorraine should have some regard for the feelings 
of the German population and of the many German sol- 
diers present in the coimtry," sends out the following 
order to all the mayors under his jurisdiction : 

" The use in public of the French language on the 
part of persons who know enough German to make 
themselves understood, or enough to enable them to have 
recourse to i)ersons who do possess a sufficient knowl- 
edge of German, will be considered a provocation." 

Forthwith, convictions rain. Several hundred have 
been found in the local newspapers.® Women and chil- 

8 At first the Oermans published full accounts of condemnations 
and executions in Alsace, with a view to terrorizing the popuia- 


dren are punished for having spoken French in street- 
cars or on the street A merchant is convicted for hav- 
ing left a French label on packages* Girls in boardings 
schools are watched for fear they may speak the hated 
tongue. Uniforms of firemen and schoolboys are for- 
bidden because they have " a French cut." (Bulletin 
protestarU frangais, August, 1917, p. 5.) 

The clergy have been treated with the same severity 
as laymen. The Abbe Horber of Saint-Etienne de Mul- 
house was condemned to five months in prison for the 
expression of anti-German sentim^its. In a course of 
religious instruction he had declared that man is not re- 
quired to love the temporal authority, but merely to 
obey it. During the trial the military advocate, Schott, 
ceiiured violenUj the general attitude of the region! 
The case of the Abbe Horber, he said, was all the more 
grave because he had received in Germany an excellent 
education. He deplored the fact that the Protestant 
parish of Saint-Etienne de Mulhouse was no better than 
the Catholic. "It is shameful," he said, "that the 
greater part of the clergy of Upper Alsace has not lived 
up to our expectations," and he added that in applaud- 
ing the Abb§ Horber the children had acted in accord- 
ance with instructions received from their families. 
(Fribourg, p. 78.) 

Pastor Girold, a much respected patriarch of Stras- 
bourg, eighty years old, was brought before the war- 
council on the charge of having given money to French 
wounded in the hospitals, and of having shown anti- 
German sentiments in two of his sermons. On account 
of his age, he was given only one month in prison. A 

tion. But they flnaUy discontinued the practice, since it proved 
— what they have been at so much pains to disprove — that Al- 
satians are so hostile to German rule that thousands must be 
sent to prison. (Fribourg, p. 46.) 


very significant note in the Kolnische Zeitung in Feb- 
ruary, 1915, refers to this case: 

"It is impossible,'' says the author, "to close our 
eyes to the great,number of arrests on charges of high 
treason, not only of professional traitors, but also of 
many other people. It is impossible to close our eyes 
to cases like that of Pastor Gerold of Strasbourg, who, 
after having played an important role in the society 
of German Protestants and having been made Honorary 
Doctor by the Faculty of Theology of Strasbourg for 
his collaboration on the new book of canticles for Alsace- 
Lorraine, has not scrupled to express freely his anti- 
German feeling from the pulpit and in the hospitals, 
and so ostentatiously that the war-coimcil has had to con- 
demn him to a month in prison. 

" There is reason to deplore still more the case of Dr. 
Gpehrs, judge at Mulhouse, who was deprived of his 
functions by a disciplinary tribunal as a result of a 
public demonstration of hostility to Germany. 

" The true spirit of the people is revealed, among 
other incidents, by the welcome offered by the population 
of Guebwiller to the French prisoners while they were 
passing through the city. This reception was such that 
the local commandant and the prefect of Colmar were 
obliged to go personally before the municipal council, 
called together expressly for this purpose under the 
presidency of the Old German [i.e., Immigrant] Frey- 
seng, to present their protest and threaten the popula- 
tion with the most severe reprisals if the action were 
repeated. . . ." (Fribourg, pp. 80-82.) 

Many functionaries are not restrained by their lucra- 
tive positions from expressing their feeling in regard 
to Germany. Three secretaries in the office of the di- 
rector of internal revenue at Strasbourg, Laucher, 
Glentzinger and Meyer, were condemned in August^ 


1916, the first two to six months in prison, and the 
third to a year, "for demonstration of anti-German 
sentiments/' On August 28, the director himself, 
Weymann, was condemned to a year in prison for " pro- 
French statements." (Fribourg, p. 86.) 

" In Alsace-Lorraine French sympatibies exist, not 
only in parliamentary circles, but even in some circles 
of government servants. This is proved by the sen- 
tences, comparatively numerous, pronounced against gov- 
ernment servants, for anti-German demonstrations," 
says the Schwahischer Merhur, May 11, 1917. (Quoted 
by Bulletin de VAllia/nce fran^atse, April, 1918, p. 40.) 

A very large number of children have received prison 
sentences. The following is one example: Johann 
Ingold, a pupil of a Mulhouse school, carried off and tore 
up the portrait of the Kaiser which hung in a class- 
room, painted French flags and added the inscription 
"Vive la France"; furthermore, according to the of- 
ficial accusation, " he derided the German colours, even 
though his father occupies a very lucrative position as 
a German official." Johann was condemned to one 
month of imprisonment. (Fribourg, p. 66.) 

To judge by the condemnations, it would seem that 
love of France has remained strongest in the hearts of 
the humble, the proletariat. The erroneous notion pre- 
vailed before the war, even in France, that the Alsatian 
workman was prosperous and satisfied under German 
,rule. Hundreds of published condemnations have 
proved the falsity of this supposition. 

Just as the peasants in Belgiimi and Northern France 
have suffered more than any other class, so they have 
suffered in Alsace. Their property has been wantonly 
destroyed, and they have been shot on the pretexts 
invoked so many times elsewhere. An old man was 
murdered because he had hidden four eggs. Since the 



beginning of the war no peasant has known, when he 
got up in the morning, whether he would sleep the next 
night in bed or in prison. Espionage and delation 
have rendered his life a hell. (Fribourg, pp. 120 ff.) 


Socialist deputies in the Reichstag have repeatedly 
denounced the treatment of Alsatians. On March 20, 
1915, in an impassioned speech in the Beichstag, the 
socialist member Ledebour protested against the rigor- 
ous measures enforced by German authorities in Poland 
and Alsace-Lorraine. (La Pai>x par le Droit, v. 25, 
1915, p. 233.) 

At a meeting of the Reichstag in 1916, the socialist 
deputy Emmel, of Mulhouse, protested against the arbi- 
trary manner in which the police arrest Alsatians, who 
in most cases are ignorant of the reason of their arrest. 
He protested also against the regulations whidii made it 
impossible for the Alsatians to defend themselves. 
(BvUetin de V Alliance frangaise, June 15, 1916, p. 

^^ The treatment inflicted, at first, upon the Alsa- 
tians," wrote the socialist member Hermann Wendel in 
the Chemnitzer Volhsstvmme, November 14, 1915, " was 
such as one would have had no right to inflict upon 
known criminals. If the padlock of martial law were 
to be removed from our lips, and if we were allowed to 
speak on all these subjects, shame would flush the 
brow of every Gtennan for whom German honour is not 
a vain word." 

It was Wendel again who made a new protest in the 
Reichstag, in May, 1917, jointly with Groeber, a mem- 
ber of the Centre. 

"In Alsace-Lorraine," he declared, "hundreds of 
persons have been arrested who had never displayed the 


smallest anti-German activity. . . . Many people have 
been prosecuted who had relatives in France, or who had 
formerly travelled in France on matters of business or 
pleasure; and, lastly, all ridi or influential people of 
Alsace and Lorraine. • . . Today a condition of ex- 
tremely rigorous penalties still prevails: expulsion 
from a district, obligation to report to the police daily, 
refusal of leave, even in urgent cases. .. . . This scarcely 
credible state of things is such today that prosecutions 
are conducted against the use of the French language 
even in parts of the country where the great majority of 
the population speaks only French. . . . Alsace-Lor- 
raine is living imder a reign of terror. No one can 
rest assured that he will not be accused, without the 
shadow of reason and by any worthless fellow, of anti- 
Gbrman feelings, and oondaLed to prison on Suspicion 
or to expulsion from the district. . . ." (Bidletin de 
V Alliance frangaise, April, 1918, p. 41.) 

A deputy said in the Reichstag on October 18, 1916, 
while speaking of civilians of Alsace-Lorraine who had 
been thrown into prison at the beginning of the war: 
"After two and a half years of detention, they are 
broken morally and physically, and ruined." (Eccard, 
p. 46.) 

In 1917 the socialist Hauss declared in the Reichstag 
that in Alsace honest men are at the mercy of scoun- 
drels. He cited the case of an individual who had 
had eighty people arrested. This fellow, he said, was 
found to be a rascal, was condemned to death and exe- 
cuted,— but the eighty were still in jail. He added 
that at that moment 2000 Alsatians were detained in 
prisons in the Reichsland. (Le Temps, October 18, 

Wendel said in the Reichstag in June, 1918: 
'^ There is no reason for astonishment if in Alsace- 


Lorraine the people are filled with hatred of Gtermany 
and the desire of vengeance. ... If a plebiscite were 
held to-day, four-fifths of the population would vote 
in favour of France, solely in order to escape the p6- 
gime of oppression.^^ {Le Temps, June 10, 1918.) 


Irrefutable evidence shows that the same sort of 
atrocities have taken place in Alsace as in Belgium and 
Northern France. 

We are familiar with the German practice of mak- 
ing Belgian mayors pay for actual or suspected hos- 
tility on the part of inhabitants. Many similar inci- 
dents are already on record for Alsace-Lorraine. After 
the battle at Mulhouse in August, 1914, the mayor and 
priest of a village in the neighbourhood were arrested 
by the Grermans, tied to a gun-carriage, dragged about 
thus during a whole day in the midst of the battle, and 
then shot. The imperial official who related this inci- 
dent to an Alsatian laughed heartily and said : ^^ Die 
Leute soUen geheult haben vor Angst." (" Those 
people are said to have howled for terror." ) Noting the 
surprise of the Alsatian at his savage joy, he added: 
" That was the thing to do. The village church-bell 
had been rung to warn the French of the approach of the 
Germans. It was right that the mayor and the priest 
should pay for the viUage." (Fribourg, p. 92.) 

Deportations such as those which incensed the civ- 
ilized world in the case of Belgium have been en- 
forced in Alsace.® According to the avowal of the 
German Under-Secretary of War, Alsatian girls have 

^In his speech at the Sorbonne on March 1, 1918, M. Paul 
Deschanel, President of the French Chamber of Deputies, stated 
that the deportations of Alsatians and Lorrainers during the war 
rea^ched 10,000, and that tlie German judges had inflicted 6,000 
years of imprisonment. (Edinhurgh Review, April, 1918, p. 336.) 


been dragged from their homes and forced to work 
wherever it pleased the military authorities. Ener- 
getic protests were made to the Reichstag by a deputy of 
Alsace-Lorraine and by the Bishop of Strasbourg. The 
Government replied in a commimication published in 
the official Strassburger Post, November 3, 1917. It is 
stated there that arrangements have been made in order 
to insure "for the young girls requisitioned in Alsace- 
Lorraine and at present employed as labourers at the 
front, the benefits of a moral and religious supervision.'^ 
That probably was intended to placate the Bishop. It 
is added that " eight per cent, only of these girls are less 
than seventeen years of age, and that hardly half of them 
were subjected to work at the front in a coercive man- 
ner." It is announced that the girls less than seven- 
teen years of age who had* been enlisted by force will 
be liberated as soon as possible. 

The Swiss newspaper Le Pays has given some com- 
plementary details. " The local command," it says, 
" did in fact proceed to the country districts, and, re- 
cruiting the most robust girls, made them put on a 
uniform, a cap and hip-boots. These unfortunate 
women were to pass the night in sheds near the canton- 
ments and be guarded by soldiers." {Bulletin de 
VAUicmce frangaise, December 1, 1917, pp. 135 ff.) 

The dismal failure of German rule in Alsace and the 
absolute necessity of continuing this war until the 
desire of practically the entire population of Alsace for 
restoration to France is realized, " in order that peace 
may once more be made secure in the interests of all," 
are summed up in these words of the Easier National 
Zeitung, a neutral or pro-Gterman newspaper, in its 
issue of February 8, 1915 : 

" The innumerable decisions of war-councils whose 
duty it is to take cognizance of Germanophobe demon- 


strations are conclusive. • . • Hundreds of men of all 
classes have been thrown into prison or placed on the 
lists of the proscribed for their French leanings. • . . 
Despite its love for French traditions, the Alsatian peo- 
ple certainly did not desire to become French again at 
the cost of a war. But war has come, shattering com- 
pletely the existing order of things, and it is found that, 
as a result of a regime of oppression which is persecut- 
ing the people even in their most intimate habits of life, 
the wishes and hopes of other times reappear stronger 
than ever. 

" And so the war with all the events that compose it, 
events especially painful to the Alsatians, has but made 
more profound the abyss which in the Beichsland sep- 
arates the two elements. The fatal result is that every 
one turns more and more towards France, and this 
even in those circles which, before the war, were more 
or less disposed to accept what had become historical 
facts. Even in German circles this transformation 
of the popular feeling in Alsace-Lorraine is well known. 
... It is sought too often to give us a false idea of 
the state of mind of the Alsatians, in order to have a 
basis of accusation and to justify certain measures en- 
forced by their present masters. In the presence of 
these efforts, it is well to have the courage to tell the 
truth openly and squarely. And the truth is that the 
Alsatian people, taken as a mass, the exceptions over- 
looked, would welcome the return to France as a de- 
liverance, putting an end to a situation which had be- 
come intolerable." (Quoted by Fribourg, p. 6.) 



The Rheinisch'Westfdlische Zeitung said after the 
beginning of the present war : " Bismarck was actuated 
solely by strategic reasons when he annexed Alsace- 
Lorraine. But the country had a considerable economic 
value. 1) We have at Pechelbronn, in Alsace^ the 
only important oil-well in all Germany. ... 2) In 
Upper-Alsace there are rich potash deposits. If this 
region belonged to France, the German potash monopoly, 
which renders all foreign lands, especially North Amer- 
ica, tributary to our country, would be lost. . . .* 
3) . . . Terror strikes us when we think what would 
have happened to us in the pvesent war if we had not 
had the Lorraine iron fields in our possession. . . ." 
Wetterle, UAlsoLce-Lorraine doit . . . , p. 170.) 

Of the production of iron ore within the district cov- 
ered by the Zollverein (Germany and Luxembourg) in 
1913, which amounted to almost 36,000,000 tons, 21,- 
100,000 came from Lorraine and 7,300,000 from Lux- 

The Bheinisch'Westfdlische Zeitung may well shud- 
der with terror at the thought of what would have hap- 
pened to Germany in the present war but for the iron 
lands she seized fifty years ago in Lorraine, a country 
as French as Gascony, a country which had been thor- 

1 The slag, a by-product of the Lorraine iron industry, is valu- 
able as fertilizer. In 1914, America imported 74,588 tons of it, 
yalued at $20 a ton. (S. Brooks, in North Amerioa/n Review, 
November, 1917, p. 698.) 



oughly French as far back as history carries us. Qer- 
maiiy, however, never would have engaged in this war 
but for her gains in the war of 1870 ; it would have been 
utterly impossible for her to plan and execute the attack 
of 1914 but for her possession of the Lorraine iron. 


Bismarck's geologists in 1871 made a mistake. They 
did not, as they thought, seize all the French iron fields. 
In 1871 metallurgists regarded phosphoric ores as un- 
workable, but a few years later a process for dephos- 
phorizing ores was di^vered by Thomas and GUckrist. 
As a result of this discovery, tibe part of the ferrugin- 
ous district Bismarck allowed France to keep is more 
valuable than the part he tooL Fifty-nine per cent 
of the fields lie within the French boundaries, but nine- 
tenths of this is in the Briey basin, which has been in 
German hands since the beginning of the war. Just 
as Germany could never have started the present war 
without the French iron €he seized in 1870, so she could 
not have continued it for six months without the French 
iron she seized in 1914. 

In a confidential memorandum on the conditions of 
future peace addressed to Bethmann-Hollweg by the six 
great industrial and agricultural associations of Ger- 
many, May 20, 1915, it is said : " If the production of 
pig iron and steel had not been doubled since August, 
1914, the continuation of the war would have been im- 
possible. At present, in many cities, even outside the 
Luxembourg-Lorraine district, the minette [from Briey 
in France] furnishes from 60 to 80 per cent, of the 
appliances made from iron and steel. If this produc- 
tion be disturbed, the war will be practically lost." 
(Quoted by Grumbach, Das annexionistische Deutschr 
land, p. 129.) 



And needless to say, Gtermany intends to hold the 
Briey region permanently. " The seteurity of €ter- 
many," it is said in the memorandum just quoted, " de- 
mands imperiously the possession of the Briey region, 
including the fortresses of Longwy and Verdun, without 
which it could not be held." Professor Schumacher of 
Bonn University, one of the leading German economists, 
said in an address delivered in Berlin on June 20, 1915, 
printed and circulated as "manuscript, strictly confi- 
dential '' : 

" The Peace of Frankfort was to have given us all 
the ore in Lorraine. This we did not obtain, because 
the geologists whom Bismarck consulted in drawing the 
frontier were in error as to the extent of the iron 
fields. Since the ^80's we know that, contrary to Bis- 
marck's view, the broader and more important deposits 
of ore in the plateau of Briey . . . were left in the 
hands of France. Today we can make good this serious 
mistake, since we fortunately conquered these districts at 
the beginning of the war and hold them firmly in our 
grasp." (Quoted in Out of Their Own Mouths, p. 
132.) 2 

2 In January, 1917, Ambassador Gerard asked Bethmann-HolK 
weg, when they were discussing terms of peace : " How about the 
eastern frontier (of France) ?" The Chancellor answered: "Wo 
must have a very substantial rectification of our frontier 
(there)." "Of course," adds Gerard, "rectification is a polite 
term for 'annexation.'" (Gerard, My Four Years in Oermany, 
p. 365.) The Socialist leader Haase, in February, 1918, before a 
meeting of the Main Committee of the Reichstag, read excerpts 
from a secret communication sent to Austria by former CShancellor 
Michaelis. The following is a paragraph from this con^unica* 
tion : " In the Vosges the boundary line must be improved 
through the annexation of some valleys, so that the German fron- 
tier troops can no longer be fired upon from French territory. 
France will lose Briey and a strip of land we«t of Luxembourg. 
The vvrlue of Briey, in an economic and military sense, it evident 


Many of the quotations here, and indeed throughout 
this book, are from the lips or pens of mad Pan-Qerman- 
ists. It may be objected that they do not represent 
the will of the people of Germany. Dr, David writes 
in the Socialist Vorwdrts, September 2, 1917: "The 
annexationists cry in chorus that the majority of the 
people is not behind the Reichstag, and impudently af- 
firm that the people are enthusiastic for their aims of 
conquest. This is laughable, but the German political 
system prevents the governors from coming into contact 
with the governed aud from learning their real opinion.** 
(Quoted by Conquest and Kultur, p. 157.) It was 
pretty well agreed in the United States during the first 
year or two of the war that the German people were un- 
willingly following their leaders. In any case they 
have followed their leaders, who are all Pan-German- 
ists ; it has become evident that they have followed them 
wUlingly; and, if Germany succeeds, the people will 
continue to follow these same leaders, more willingly 
than ever. If Germany meets overwhelming defeat, 
then, perhaps, the people will disapprove the Pan-Ger- 
man scheme, and, possibly, grow bold enough to de- 
nounce it elsewhere and more energetically than through 
the few bold survivors of the minority Socialists in tie 
national debating society. 

It has grown increasingly evident since 1914 that 
Pan-Germanism is not the dream of a handful of crazy 
junkers, professors and preachers; it is the doctrine 
which guides the whole mass of the German people, with 
marveUously few exceptions. 

from the fact that 16,000,000 tons of iron ore are produced there 
[annually]. For the safeguarding of the German and Luxembourg 
iron industry and its territory, Longwy must remain in our hands ; 
France must be compensated by a piece of the provinces of Hain- 
ault, Brabant [both, parts of Belgium], and Luxembourg." (Cur- 
rent History, April, 1918, p. 3.) 


It is not only the Pan-Gennans of the capitalist class 
who demand the annexation of the Briey region. The 
Volkszeitung of Cologne published a resolution voted at 
Freiburg by members of the Moderate parties, the Na- 
tional Liberal, Centre and Conservative, in which it is 
declared : " The annexation of Briey and Longwy is 
indispensable to the security of Qennany. . . • To keep 
Alsace-Lorraine, which we hold by force of conquest, we 
must now further take by force another strip of 
France." (Quoted by Dewey, in the New York NcUion, 
February 1, 1917, p. 126.) 

The Socialists have never gone so far^ but they (the 
Majority Socialists, not the Minority Socialists) have 
never been willing to discuss the question of Alsace- 
Lorraine, and have repeatedly answered queries as to 
the right of peoples to choose their rulers in much the 
same words as those uttered by Emmel at a congress of 
the party at Wiirzburg in October, 1917 : " The wealth 
of ihese provinces [Alsace and Lorraine] in raw mate- 
rials is a 'sufficient reason for imposing upon Germany 
the duty of retaining them." (Quoted by Le Temps, 
October 19, 1917.) It is Bot only to Pan-Germanists 
that raw materials appeal. 

Bismarck seized the Lorraine mine fields, not in order 
to make Germany a great industrial nation devoted to 
peace, but in order to protect her against France, in 
order to prepare for the next war. The Briey fields 
will be necessary to Germany after the present conflict, 
not for industrial reasons, but so that when that nation 
again sallies forth to conquer the world she will not 
lack iron. The industrial associations of Berlin and 
Diisseldorf , in a statement sent to Hertling and Hinden- 
burg in 1917, renewed the Memorial addressed by the 
six associations to Bethmann-HoUweg two years before. 
They declare the annexation of the Briey and Longwy 


basin indispensable because the possession of this re- 
gion is of incalculable value to Germany for economic, 
industrial and agricultural reasons, in view of a future 
war. (Le Temps, December 28, 1917,) 

Pastor Wilhelm Phillipi, editor of the Christian Par 
triotic Weekly, Berlin, in an editorial under the caption 
" Through Tirpitz to Jesus," is quoted by our American 
papers of January 6, 1918, as saying: "Our Divine 
Redeemer is a lover of peace. So are we, but the 
peace that the Lord wants must be a lasting peace, and 
no peace can be lasting except one that brings us Cour- 
land, the mining regions of Longwy and Briey, and 
bases to serve as starting points for our fleet in any 
eventual war with England. 

" Our Tirpitz, a man after Christ's own heart, can 
assure us the latter. He may be appropriately styled 
the Warlike Nazarene, whose ardent patriotism is only 
equalled by his devotion to his Divine Master, who will 
be his guide in any future enterprise he may engage in 
for the glorification of Germanism." (Query: Does 
" Divine Master " mean Christ or the Kaiser ?) 


The feeling is still alive in the United States that 
Germany must not be deprived of the Lorraine iron, 
for her industrial welfare depends upon it Americans 
of consequence — still, despite everything, under the 
spell of that superstition which makes of the Germans 
a superior race — suggested a year or so ago, and may, 
perhaps, some day suggest again, that Alsace be re- 
stored to France and Lorraine be left in German hands I 
German industrial prosperity must not be impaired I 

It was necessary for German industrial prosperity 
that she have the Lorraine mines in 1870. Germans 
now say it is necessary for their prosperity that ihey 


have the Briey mines, — necessary for their industrial 
prosperity, and also essential in preparation for the 
next war, which they are already planning. 

Necessary for German industrial prosperity! Are 
we to forget French industrial prosperity? Shall 
France be utterly forgotten? If all the iron in Lor- 
raine were gold, it would not suffice to repay France a 
tithe of what she has lost in heroic sons during the last 
four years as a result of Germany's dastardly assault. 

And the iron of Lorraine belongs to France, for Lor- 
rainers are Frenchmen, Lorraine is French territory, 
Lorraine was always French. The loss of this land 
would cripple German industries ? What has been the 
loss to French industries in the last fifty years, during 
which Germany has by the right of the mailed fist held 
these French riches? Listen to a Frenchman lament- 
ing in 1872 the crippling of French industries: 
" Their industries [those of Alsace and Lorraine] did 
us honour ; they counted for much in our fortune, and 
held the first rank in the scale of our production, -Lor- 
raine for her foundries and her forges, her glasses and 
her crystals, Alsace for her cotton mills and her woollen 
mills and especially her cotton prints, in the production 
of which for half a century she had been inimitable." 
(Reybaud, Revue des Deux Mondes, November, 1872, 
p. 221.) 

Let us not forget that this is not a capitalists' war. 
The territory at stake, in so far as it represents mere 
money value, must never be allowed to obscure our vis- 
ion; this is not a mere sordid scramble for wealth; 
we are fighting — countless lives have been sacrificed 
— that justice may again rule in the world, a justice 
which shall prevent such holocausts as the ghasdy one 
before our eyes at the present time. 

Alsatians and Lorrainers demand that they be re- 


leased from the yoke under which they have laboured 
for half a century. Justice to France demands that 
what is rightfully hers by legitimate possession of the 
land, and by the choice of the people dwelling in that 
land, be restored to her. 

Germany has been insisting that there must be no 
economic war after the next treaty of peace. But she 
has since 1887, and even before, been waging the most 
determined economic war against France, as far as 
Alsace-Lorraine is concerned, to the great detriment of 
Alsace and Lorraine as well as of France. When peace 
finally comes, certain economic reforms will doubtless 
take place. An international agreement may be 
reached whereby Germany and France will freely ex- 
change iron and coal. But the land belongs to the 
Lorrainers, who are Frenchmen and who insist that 
they be allowed as Frenchmen to make their land a part 
of the domain of the French Eepublic. 



The German government has tried by its usual skil- 
ful propaganda to create the impression that were Al- 
sace and Lorraine detached from the Empire they would 
face economic ruin. At the moment of the elections 
of 1911, an official booklet was published, entitled The 
Economic Development of AlscLce-Lorraine under Oer- 
man Administration. So successful has the German 
propaganda been that not only the United States and 
other foreign nations but even many Alsatians and Loi- 
rainers have been convinced. But their conviction that 
a return to France was not possible for economic reasons 
was not unaccompanied by regrets. An Alsatian, 
Stehelin, in a pamphlet written in 1911 to prove the 
economic impediment to reincorporation in the RepuV 


lie, declared : " Our affection for France has not va- 
ried, but a new and considerable factor has had time 
to make itself felt, the economic factor." In a letter 
of the same year to Coquet, he writes : " However dif- 
ficult it is for us to look the situation in the face, how- 
ever great the sorrow we feel, we are forced to recognize 
that the door is closed against our return to France. If 
you knew how grievous this idea is to us, you would 
tmderstand why it took us so long to open our eyes." 
(Coquet, in Bevue politique et parlementaire, v. 43, 
1917, p. 219.) « 


Has Alsace-Lorraine really prospered under German 
rule ? The wealth of the country has increased, with- 
out doubt, but this is due almost exclusively to the ex- 
ploitation of the vast iron mines in Lorraine. The 
profit derived from the consumption of natural resources 
is rather a loss than a gain, unless the product is 
used for manufactures within the country. Germany 
proper, especially Prussia, has been enriched by Lor^ 
raine iron; Lorraine has been growing poorer. The 
test of a country's prosperity is in its creative industries, 
not in the amount of money received from the exploita- 
tion of exhaustible natural wealth. The question of the 
Lorraine iron, the source of the increase in the per 

s Prof. W, Forster, the astronomer of Berlin, says in a personal 
letter to David Starr Jordan, September, 1913: "Germany has 
throughout treated the people of Elsass-Lothringen in embitter- 
ing fashion. By this means, the painful influence of the conquest 
on the feelings of the French people has been kept alive and con- 
stantlv renewed. In spite of this, a vote of the people of Elsass- 
Lothringen would now probably show a majority in favour of re- 
maining a part of Germany. This would mainly be on economic 
grounds, as the fruit and vine industry of Elsass-Lothringen is in 
closer relation to the interests of Germany than to those of 
France." (Jordan, p. 26.) 


capita wealth of the two provinces, will be discussed 

The Lorraine iron aside, Alsace and Lorraine, it may 
be said with assurance, have not prospered. It must 
not be forgotten that since 1870 the whole world, and 
Germany especially, has grown richer with astounding 
acceleration. Alsace and Lorraine have had a pitifully 
small share in this general advance, and the fault is 

It would be natural to suppose that Alsace would pros- 
per in the same proportion as the rest of the Empire. 
Her failure to do so is exceedingly significant, for 
were she in her normal economic sphere, her progress 
would have paralleled more or less closely that of other 
regions in tlie same sphere. 


The burden of taxation has become more heavy in all 
countries, but Alsace and Lorraine have suffered from 
this much more than they would have if they had re- 
mained French. Before the war of 1914, taxes in the 
two provinces were 50% higher than across the Vosges. 
The State exploited iron mines in Lorraine without pay- 
ing industrial taxes. It paid no taxes on its railroads. 
The Alsatian cities were never poorer; they were over- 
whelmed with debts. The cost of living was much 
greater than in France. (Hinzelin, pp. 152-159.) 

Some figures on taxation in Alsace-Lorraine will make 
clear the very great increase in public burdens since 

Budget of Alsace-Lorraine 
1870: 35,421,648 marks 


1914: 74,626,027 marks, an increase of over 100%.* 


1870 : none at all 

1910 : 62,650,000 marks, represented by bonds which 
pay 3% and were in 1911 quoted at 83. 
In addition to the budget and debt of the Beichsland 
as a state, must be considered the separate burdens of 
departments and communes. 

Budget of Departments 

1882: 4,347,263 marks 

1909: 8,999,981 marks, an increase of 100% in 27 

The debt of Upper-Alsace, one of the three depart- 
ments, was in 1908, 2,675,000 marks, on which 4% 
or 41/4% is paid. In 1909 a loan of 4,000,000 marks 
was floated. 

Budget of Communes 

1872: 14,738,128 marks — 9 m. 50 pf. per capita 
1908: 49,307,295 marks — 27 m. 90 pf. per capita 

Communal Debt 


15,057,576 marks 
160,152,111 marks 
209,572,000 marks 

Colmar may be considered as a normal city: 
Population in 1870: 23,669 

«The alannlng increase in the budget is shown by the figures 
for the last few years before the war: 

1911 6S,7S6,662 marks 

1912 68,118,286 « 

1913 70,677,622 ^ 

1914 74,625,027 " 


Population in 1908: 42,000 (including the garri- 
Taxes in Colmar in 1870 

Debt of Colmar in 1870 


567,364: marks 

4,204,500 marks 

1,120,000 marks 

14,000,000 marks'^ 

The most distressing feature of this intolerable . in- 
crease is that it has been in large measure due to mega- 
lomaniac expenditures — the architectural atrocities 
committed in Strasbourg, for example — forced upon 
the people by their German masters. The German ad- 
ministration has unquestionably been efficient, — and 
for this Alsace is grateful, — but it has been costly, and 
the benefits derived have not been by any means com- 
mensurate with the increased expense. Still worse, Al- 
satians had no choice; they could accept or reject the 
benefits as they pleased, but the taxes, levied by an 
administration which took its orders from Berlin, had 
to be paid. 

The cost of administration increased with great ra- 
pidity after Alsace-Lorraine became German; 1.31 
francs per capita under the French regime, it had al- 
ready become 3.12 francs per capita five years later, in 
1876. (Antony, in Revue des Sciences politiques, v. 
27, 1912, p.. 63; v. 28, p. 39.) 

Alsace-Lorraine pays 4,000,000 marks for the collec- 
tion of customs-duties and of indirect taxes, and is re- 
imbursed to the extent of 2,500,000. All the railroads 
are owned by the Empire, which not only pays no taxes 
but requires out of the provincial funds a subsidy of 
40,000 marks for every kilometre of railroad built, even 

BThe figures concerning finance here given are taken from of- 
ficial Bources. An article by Muller in the Economiate fran^ 
caia (y. I, 1912, pp. 159 ff.) has been of great asslBtance. 


in the case of strategic roads of no industrial value^ and 
there are very many of these. In all the other states 
of the Empire, on the other hand, the Imperial treasury 
pays for strategic lines which serve no industrial pur- 
pose. (Antony, in Revue des Sciences politiques, v. 27, 
1912, p. 253 ; Delahache, p. 167.) 

This avalanche of taxation came without an increase 
in wealth even remotely compensatory, and with only a 
slight increase in population. Germanv herself has 
had the utmost difficulty in keeping pace with mounting 
taxes — due in large part to the insane race in arma- 
ments with England, and to preparation for the present 
war — even though her wealth has advanced far more 
rapidly than that of any other European nation, and her 
population as well. 


The increase in population in the important states of 
the Empire as compared with that in Alsace-Lorraine, is 
as follows: 

Area Percentage 

Eng. sq. miles 1871 1910 of increase 

Prusflia 134,616 24,689,252 40,165,219 62.7 

Bavaria 29,292 4,863,450 6,887,291 41.6 

Wtirtemberg 7,534 1,818,639 2,437.574 34.0 

Baden 5,823 1,461,562 2,142,833 46.6 

Saxony 6,789 2,556,244 4,806,661 88.0 

Alsace-Lorraine ... 5,604 1,549,738 1,874,014 20.9 

{StatistiacJ^a Jahrbuch fiir das Deutsche Reich, v. 33, 1912, 
pp. 1-3.) 

Two-thirds of the increase in population in Alsace- 
Lorraine is concentrated in the four great cities, whose 
increase is as follows : 

1871 1910 Increase 

Strasbourg 85,654 178,891 93,000 

Metz 63,623 68,598 15,000 



Mnlhouse 52,892 

Colmar 23,311 



181,000 • 

This increase is almost negligible in comparison with 
the increase in German cities. The following table of 
official statistics shows the increase in all German 
cities whose population is greater than that of Stras- 

Berlin . . 
Munich . 
Leipzig . 
Cologne . 
Breslau . 
Frankfort . 

burg . . . . 
Hannover . . 















Essen . . . 






Stettin ... 

Duisburg . 




. • • . 



The increase in population in Alsace-Lorraine outside 
of the four large cities was in the iron region of Lor- 
raine. It was distributed as follows: 

1871 1910 

Commune of Algringen 367 9,476 

Nilvingen 273 5,795 

Sablon 1,039 10,720 

Deutschoth 1,050 6,293 

Kneuttingen 937 5,612 

• Unquestionably the large cities have increased in population, 
but it must not be forgotten that the soldiers of Germany are 
counted in the official tables. This necessitates a revision, which 
is most noticeable in the case of Metz with its large garrison. 
The civil population of Metz increased by 1000 from 1871 to 
1910, from 54,000 to 55,000. (Meuriot, in Journal de la BooUU 


Compare this increase with that of the Oerman cities 
in the Ruhr iron district: Diisseldorf, Essen, Duis- 
burg, Dortmund, Elberfeld (1875: 80,000; 1910: 170,- 
000); Gelsenkirchen (1875: 11,000; I&IO: 169,000); 
Barman (1875: 86,000; 1910: 169,000); Mulheim 
(1876: 15,000; 1910: 112,000); Crefeld (1875: 62,- 
905 ; 1910 : 129,406) ; Hambom (a village in 1875 ; 
1910: 101,000). 

Elsewhere formerly prosperous Alsace has lamentably 
suffered : 

1871 1910 

District of Molsheim 74,910 67,069 

SchleUfltadt 78,162 67,581 

Weissenburg 62,333 56,579 

Rappoltsweiler 67,102 58,151 

Chateau-Salins 52,801 45,303 

In 1870, Alsace's small, thriving towns were her 
pride. In Germany many similar towns have become 
huge industrial centres^ Of course Germany, too, suf- 
fered from the general exodus to the cities which has 
taken place throughout the world, but the loss of Alsace 
from this cause is very much greater than that suf- 
fered by Germany. Shifting of population in Ger- 
many has resulted in slight loss in localities of less 
than 2,000, in a considerable gain elsewhere, as fol- 
lows : 

de Statiatique de Paris, v. 55, 1914, p. 448.) Even this increase 
of 1000 is effaced if we reduce the limits of the city to those of 
1870; 1869, 49,325; 1871, 39,937; 1874, 35,696; 1910, 48,645, ez- 
clusive of the population of Devant-les-Ponts and Panti4re8- 
Queuleu, which, incorporated with Metz in 1908, add 6,546 to the 
figure here given for 1910. (Delahache, L'Exode, p. 131.) 

The soldiers included in the official census are not Alsatians, are 
only temporarily in the country, and should not be considered a 
part of its population. In 1910 there were 82,276 soldiers in the 
Reichsland, of whom only 6,628 were Alsatians. (Vidal de la 
Blache, in Revue dea Boiencea poUtiquea, y. 35, 1916, p. 216.) 


Intoiona Intoums Intotons Intouma Inloodlitie9 

of 100,000 of 20,000 of 5,000 of 2,000 ofleastham 

and more to 100,000 to 20,000 to 5,000 2,000 

1871 .... 1,968,537 3,147,272 4,588,364 5,190,801 26,163,818 

1910 ....13,823,348 8,677,965 9,172,333 7,297,770 25,964,587 

(PoliticuB, in Fortnightly Review, February, 1918, p. 222.) 

It is not in the rural districts but in her towns that 
Alsace has suffered most, a losa^ it is worth repeating, 
which was all the more disastrous since her towns were 
her richest asset. This loss is by no means compen- 
sated by the gain in the four large cities and in the iron 
district. Towns in Alsace which were busy in 1870 are 
dead today; similar towns in Germany have become 
industrial centres of international importance. 

Following are statistics for Bischwiller, a notable 
example of the fate of the Alsatian small towns which 
were flourishing under French administration: 

Kumber of manufacturers: 1869, 96; 1871, 21. 

Number of workmen: 1869, 5,000; 1874, less than 2,000. 

Number of looms: 1869, 2,000; 1874, 650. 

Exportation of manufactured products: 1869, 1,000,000 kilo- 
grams; 1874, 400,000. 

Value of cloth manufactured: 1869, 18 to 20 million francs; 
1874, 5 to 6 million francs. 

The decrease in the material prosperity of Bischwiller 
between 1869 and 1874, and the increase between 1874 
and 1910, parallel, approximately, the shift in popula- 
tion: 1869, 11,500; 1874, 7,700; 1910, 8,000, including 
the inmates of three asylums which did not exist before 
1874 and a German garrison of three batteries of artil- 
lery. (Delahache, UExode, pp. 37, 43.) 


The most considerable gain in population in the 
provinces is that of Strasbourg. It should not be for- 
gotten that much of this great city's increase is due to 


the fact that it is the political and administratiye capital 
of the Beichsland. GU>yeni]nental officers with ^eir 
train of employees, mostly foreign, and regiments of 
soldiers, ahnost aU foreign, add to the population of 
the city, and, in some degree, also, to its wealth; but 
these are not the sort of citizens that bring stable and 
enduring prosperity to a community. Strasbourg was 
destined by nature to become one of the greatest indus- 
trial centres of Europe, and would have attained that 
proud eminence if it had not been atrociously sacri- 
ficed to the German cities on the Ehine. It had been 
prepared for a marvellous development in the decades 
preceding 1870, under French administration, by the 
construction of an admirable series of canals. It is the 
natural head of navigation on the Ehine.'' Its popu- 
lation increased 100% from 1870 to 1910. That of 
Mannheim increased 500%. Mannheim took the place 
which would have been Strasbourg's but for the policy, 
everywhere followed, of subordinating Alsatian to Ger- 
man interests. The German Khine ports, Duisburg, 
Diisseldorf, Cologne, Mayence, Mannheim, each in- 
creased 500% in population. Strasbourg was entitled 
to expect an advance at least equal to that of any one of 
those cities, and it would have realized this advance if it 
had remained under French administration, if its in- 
terests had not been sacrificed by a step-motherly gov- 
ernment, as we shall see later. 


Just as Strasbourg was deprived of her rightful share 
of the Rhine traffic by a government which was solicit- 
ous only for the prosperity of Germany, so Lorraine 
with her rich store of iron was sacrificed to the German 

7 See Vidal de la Blache, Annalea de Q^ographie, v. 25, 1916, 
pp. 161 ff. 



interests of the Suhr district. And just as in the 
case of Strasbourg, so Lorraine was ready in 1870 to 
advance with rapid strides. Canals had been built and 
important work on the Moselle was already started. 
Since 1871 Lorraine has been unsuccessfully appeal- 
ing for the canalization of the Moselle and the Sarre. 
The government has turned a deaf ear, because Prussia 
is all-powerful in Germany, and the magnates of Silesia 
and Westphalia are all-powerful in Prussia. German 
iron interests must not be forced to meet ttie compe- 
tition of Lorraine. It has been feared, too, that fiie 
railroads, all owned by the State, would be injured by 
the establishment of satisfactory water routes. This 
outrageous situation revolted even some Gterman econo- 
mists, such as Kreuzkam, who in the Jahrhucher fur Nor 
tional OeJeonomie (v. 70, 1910, pp. 660 ff.), protests 
against the imperial veto on the Moselle and Sarre canal 
projects, shows that the railroads have nothing to fear, 
and declares that not only Lorraine but all southwest 
Germany is retarded by Prussians selfishness. 

Still, of course, the exploitation of the iron fields has 
continued, and millions of tons of Ore are extracted 
every year. But let us see if Lorraine has benefited 
by this gift of nature any more than Strasbourg has 
by her exceptional natural position. 

It cannot be urged too strongly that a country is im- 
poverished rather than enriched by the consumption of 
natural resources, unless the product is used for manu- 
factures within the country. Practically all the iron of 
Lorraine is exported to Germany. Diisseldorf and the 
neighbouring cities of the Ruhr district have grown 
fabulously rich on industries dependent upon Lorraine 
iron. The great industrial advance of Germany in 
the past fifty years has been due in very large part to 
the industries of Diisseldorf, Dortmund, Bodium, Es- 


sen, Duisburgy Hambom, Miilheim, (Jelsenkirchen and 
the other Euhr cities. Lorraine furnished the raw 
product. What has she gained ? 

It is true that the coal is in the Euhr country and that 
there is an advantage in bringing iron to coal. But 
there is coal in the Sarre, and, if Prussia had not pre- 
vented the necessary canalization, Metz would have be- 
come a DuBseldorf.^ As it is, Metz has remained sta- 
tionary since 1870. Iron need not always go to coal; 
coal may go to iron. That has been proved in France. 

Let us compare Metz with Nancy, the French city 
across the border. We have seen thal^ through a fortu- 
nate error of Bismarck, large iron fields still remain in 
the French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. These 
fields produced 976,000 tons of ore in 1875 ; 2,600,000 
tons in 1890; and 19,500,000 tons in 1913. The Lor- 
raine iron is shipped out of the country. Meurthe- 
et-Moselle is not forced to sacrifice its prosperity in this 
way. Metz cannot get coal because Prussia will not 
permit the creation of waterways. Nancy, which bears 
the relation to the Meurthe-et-Moselle iron fields that 
Metz does to the German-Lorraine iron fields, is farther 
from coal than Metz; but ^e gets it. The civil popula- 
tion of Metz has not increased since 1870. The popula- 
tion of Nancy in 1872 was 52,978 ; in 1911 it was 119,- 
940, an increase of well over 100%. Her prosperity 
is due, not to the exploitation of natural resources, but 
to manufactures in which the raw products are used. 
Nancy is the Diisseldorf of Meurthe-et-Moselle. Metz 

8 ''Few cities/' says the great French geographer, Vidal de la 
Blache, "are better located than Metz to be the capital of a 
region. The beauty and spaciousness of the site, the confluence 
of rivers, those hill-slopes widening into the splendid valley where 
the Moselle flows gently till its course is narrowed again, — every- 
thing conspires to give to this old capital an aspect truly sov- 
ereign." {Anndlea de Oiographie, v. 25, 1916, p. 178.) 


would have been the Diisseldorf of (Jerinan Lorraine 
if Germany had not treated Lorraine and Alsace 
as mere colonies existing solely for the benefit of the 

Important progress has been made in the whole de- 
partment of Meurthe-et-Moselle. Many industries in- 
dependent of the iron mines have made great strides. 
In 1871 the department produced 192,000 hectolitres of 
beer; in 1908 it produced 1,146,000 hectolitres. As a 
result of this advance, the importation of beer into 
France was in 1905 only a third of what it was in 1881. 
In 1871 the value of the shoes manufactured in the de- 
partment was 1,200,000 francs; in 1910 it was 13,500,- 
000 francs. The manufacture of lingerie, etc., was in- 
troduced in 1880 ; in 1910 the income of the department 
from this source was 83,000,000 francs. (Uhry, in 
Revue economiqae intemationdle, 1913, I, pp. 279 ff.) 

Metz has enjoyed almost no increase in wealth. 
Among the sixty-one branches of the Banque de France, 
that of Nancy was twenty-seventh in 1871; in 1911 it 
was classed as seventh according to volume of business, 
and first according to profits. Its operations increased 
by 424% in thirty years. (Lenfort, in Revue des 8cir 
ences politiques, v. 26, 1911, p. 834.) 

The natural resources of Lorraine are being ex- 
hausted. According to a report which the (Jerman pro- 
fessor Krusch read at a meeting of iron and steel oper- 
ators in 1917, the iron in German Lorraine will be 
exhausted in forty-five years. (Quoted by Brunhes, 
professor at the College de France, in an article printed 
in the Courtier des Etais-Unis, January 26, 1918, p. 
20.) According to the French expert, de Launay, writ- 
ing in the Revue des Deux Mondes (July 15, 1916, p. 
840), at the rate of exploitation obtaining before the war 



the German fields in Lorraine will be exhausted between 
1950 and 1960. 

In a few years, therefore, Lorraine will have spent 
her natural riches, and who will have gained ? Where 
is Lorraine's Diisseldorf? Does Lorraine gain even 
from the sale of the raw product? Lorrainers do not 
own the iron of the country. All the mines, with neg- 
ligible exceptions, were, even before 1914, in the hands 
of the German iron kings, the Thyssens, the Miehtes and 
others. (Cf. Kreuzkam, in the article referred to 
above, p. 665.) And it is almost certain that at the 
present moment not one share in Lorraine mining com- 
panies is owned by any but Germans. 

Has Lorraine benefited by being included in the 


Alsace has been hampered even more than Lorraine by 
inclusion in the Zollverein. The following statistics 
for industries which are among the most important in 
Alsace are enlightening: 


Production in Value in 

hectolitre9 mark9 

1874 1,746,232 48,622,816 

1876 2,309,»76 62,243,079 

1885 1,618,664 36,721,091 

1889 1,162,965 31,772,370 

1898 615,817 18,000,000 

1902 706,686 20,089,397 

1903 828,603 18,890,669 

1904 1,126,204 28,986,872 

1906 1,119,269 20,037,396 

1906 649,242 23,001,304 

{Bulletin de Statiatique et de Ligialation ComparSef t. 30, 1891, 
p. 43; Die Deut»ohe Volkewirthachaft, 1900, p. 60; Statietisohea 
Jahrbuch fUr Elaaae'^Lothringenf 1907, p. 57.) 


The average sinoe 1906 has been about 600,000 hecto- 
litres, valued at 21,000,000 marks. In the '70's about 
half the wine produced in the German Empire was 
credited to Alsace-Lorraine ; in the last ten years before 
the war, this fraction had diminidied to less than one- 


(In hectolitres) 

Producti(m Exportation Importation 

1872 812,454 206,900 61,719 

1906 1,381,123 31,248 384,968 

iBfati$ti$ehe8 Jdhrhuch fUr ElsaM-Lothringen, 1907, p. 95.) 

Following is a table showing the number of workmen 
in all important trades (those engaging more than 
30,000) : 

Percentage of 

1882 1895 ffoinorloMM 

Agriculture 627,800 599,234 — 4.55 

Mining 34,677 42,574 +22.77 

Stone and earth 41,015 47,632 +16.13 

MeUl-working 43,338 62,776 +44.85 

Machines 36,468 25,396 —30.34 

Textiles 127,731 126,562 —0.92 

Wood-work 50,012 48,012 — 2.81 • 

Food-stuffs 40,627 42,794 +5.33 

Clothing and cleaning 74,509 70,739 —5.06 

Building 86,162 102,896 +20.84 

Commerce 72,674 75,196 +3.61 

Transportation 50,900 51,430 +1.04 

Military and civil service. . . . 150,899 104,212 +44.80 • 

Without trade 67,260 76,185 +13.27 

{Statiitieokee Jahrbuch fUr EUa89'Lothringen, 1907, pp. 26-28.) 

• Obvious error. Editobs. 

The only real gains are in connection with the iron 
fields of Lorraine. Alsace has remained stationary, or 
has retrograded. 


The textile industry is, and has been for over a hun- 
dred years, by far the most important in Alsaoe. The 


test of Alsace's prosperity is in the fate of this industry. 

German manufacturers in 1870 greatly feared Alsa- 
tian competition in textiles ; uselessly, however, for two 
reasons : first, and chiefly, because of the governmental 
encouragement given exclusively to German interests; 
second, because of the cheapness of labour in Germany. 

The following statistics concerning cotton spindles 
are final and damning proof that Germany has imposed 
upon the world in her incessant declaration that Alsace 
has benefited by the annexation of 1871 : 

Rett of 
AUace Zollverem 

Number of spindles in 1870 1,890,000 2,500,000 • 

Number of spindles in 1909 1,730,000 8,000,000 

While the number of spindles in the Empire increased 
well over three fold, the number in Alsace, which in 
1870 had more than two-thirds as many as the whole 
ZoUverein, has actually decreased. 

Just as Strasbourg was sacrificed to Mannheim, and 
Metz to Dusseldorf , so Mulhouse, the centre of Alsace's 
greatest industry, was sacrificed to Prussian and Saxon 
cities. The population of Mulhouse increased from 
58,773 in 1866 to 95,041 in 1910.^^ But, though even 

• This figure is not exact. The official figures for 1861 and 
1875 are 2,235,960 and 4,200,811. The second, without the Al- 
satian spindles, which had dropped to 1,650,000, would make 2,- 
550,811. If the figures for 1861 were correct, Germany would 
have gained only 314,861 between 1861 and 1875, which is mani- 
festly far below the truth. The figure given for 1861 is un- 
questionably too high, as Grad suspects, in the Econontiste fra/n- 
gaity y. 1, 1873, p. 883. On the other hand, the figures given by 
the Count von Luxburg in the Reichstag on April 17, 1871 (quoted 
by Delahache, UExode, p. 89), for Alsace (2,170,000) and for the 
ZoUverein (1,760,000), are surely too high for Alsace and too 
low for the ZoUverein, Luxburg was prejudiced; he was plead- 
ing for the German cotton interests and exaggerated the risk they 
ran if Alsace were included in the ZoUverein. 2,500,000 for 1870 
is perhaps a little high, but is not far from the truth. 

10 The remarkable provision for the eomfort of workmen at Mul- 


today she operates more cotton spindles than any other 
city in the Zollverem, her importance as a textile centre 
is greatly decreased, for in 1870 her large cotton mills 
controlled smaller but very important establishments in 
the little towns of Upper-Alsace. We have already seen 
what happened to these little towns, having taken Bisch- 
willer, a textile centre, as an example. 

We tested Lorraine's prosperity by comparing Hetz 
with Nancy. Some idea of what would have been the 
advance of Mulhouse and the rest of Upper-Alsace can 
be gained by considering the neighbouring French 

The old French department of the Haut-Ehin was 
divided in 1871, the territory of Belfort remaining 
French. In the part which became German (Mul- 
house is in this part), the increase in population between 
1871 and 1910 is 12.8% ; the increase in the part which 
remained French is 80%. (Meuriot, in Journal de la, 
Societe de 8tatistiqj,e de Paris, v. 55, 1914, p. 447.) 

Mulhouse increased under Grerman rule from a popu- 
lation of 58,773 to 95,041. Following are the records 
of the important industrial cities on the French side of 
the line: 

house has for many years attracted the attention of sociologists. 
It is supposed, quite erroneously, that here is an evidence of 
Germany's solicitude for the Working classes. As a matter of 
fact, Mulhouse was generations ahead of Germany in this respect, 
and the credit of the movement belongs entirely to Alsatian 
manufacturers. Decades before 1870, under French administra- 
tion, the famous " Workmen's Cities " were established. In an 
interesting study on " Mulhouse and Its Social Institutions," in 
Revue des Sciences politiquesy v. 27, 1912, p. 76, Lange quotes 
this saying of Bismarck: " If the German social organization 
were equal to the Alsatian, we should have no need to pass laws 
appertaining to the condition of workmen." (See also the ar- 
ticle by Acker in Revue des Deux Mondes, March 15, 1912, pp. 
442 ff., and by Grad in the Economiste frangaia, v. 1, 1873, pp. 
680 ff.) 


1872 1911 

Belfort * 8,030 39,371 

Epinal 11,847 30,042 

Saint-lWg 12,317 23,108 

But, as was the case in Alsace before 1870, much of 
the work in textiles is done in small towns in France. 
We have seen that the small industrial towns in Alsace 
remained stationary or lost ground. To take their 
places small towns sprang up near by in France and 
even far away in Normandy. Thaon-lesrVosges was in 
1870 an insignificant agricultural village of 500 in- 
habitants; in 1910 it had 7,000 inhabitants and its 
manufactured products had an annual value of 17,000,- 
000 francs. (Delahache, UExode, p. 196.) 

Has Alsace been benefited by inclusion in the ZoU- 


Too often it is forgotten that whatever prosperity Al- 
sace and Lorraine have enjoyed since 1870 is not due to 
the fact that they became German. If they had re- 
mained French, their advance would not have been the 
scandal that it is. Stehelin closed the letter quoted 
above (p. 126), in which he laments that for economic 
reasons Alsace must remain German, with these words, 
significantly inconsistent with the former statement, 
which was written under the influence of German propa- 
ganda: " As to the pretension of certain Germans that 
the annexation has been a benefit for us, I deny it abso- 
lutely, all Alsatians deny it; besides, no one will ever 
be able to prove what we should have become if annexa- 
tion had not taken place. The wonderful development of 
French industry, especially in the East, due to our com- 
patriots [emigrated to France], tends to prove the con- 
trary of the German assertion." (Coquet, I. c, p. 220.) 


A comparison of the progress of industrial Alsace 
with that of the eastern French districts, those bor- 
dering on Alsace, is decidedly in favour of the latter. 
In fact, Alsace's loss has been France's gain. When 
the Treaty of Frankfort is annulled and Alsace returns 
to her normal economic sphere, Alsace and France will 
advance rapidly together, for it is incontestable that 
economically each country is an asset to the other. 
Under French administration Strasbourg will become a 
Mannheim, Metz a Diisseldorf , Mulhouse will regain 
her old prosperity, small Alsatian towns will thrive 
again. France and Alsace will go forth together at the 
pace which has marked German progress of the last fifty 

Some hint of what might have been is found in the 
story of Alsace's condition in the last decades of French 
rule. From 1820 to 1870 the population of the two 
provinces increased by 50%, and their prosperity in- 
creased in the same proportion. (Hinzelin, p. 156.) 
Since 1870 the population has increased 21%, and the 
increase in prosperity has by no means corresponded 
with that low figure. This, as we have seen, amounts 
to a veritable calamity, in view of the marvellous eco- 
nomic advance of the rest of the world, especially Ger- 
many. The following table from official figures shows 
that, though the large cities of Alsace-Lorraine have in- 
creased in population since 1871, they had prospered 
also in the years preceding : 

Btrfuibourg MiUhouse Metz Colmar 

1800 49,470 6,628 34,401 13,396 

1871 85,654 52,892 53,623 23,311 

1910 178,891 95,041 68,598 43,808 

Chiehiciller HtLgenau Markiroh 

1800 2,802 7,009 6,364 

1871 11,350 11,388 12,322 

1910 13,024 18,86» 11,778 


And it should not be forgotten that the second half of 
the century saw throughout the world a much more rapid 
advance than the first, due to increased facility in trans- 
portation and other material progress. This renders 
all the more remarkable the forward movement of Al- 
sace from 1800 to 1871. 

Kiener, a privat-doceni at the official University of 
Strasbourg, in an article which appeared in the Revue 
Alsacienne in 1909, shows what he calls " the marvellous 
increase in material riches which came to Alsace under 
Napoleon III," that is, in the years immediately pre- 
ceding the Franco-Prussian war. " Bailroads and 
canals," he says, " gave wings to Alsatian industry, and 
Alsace won the world market for the second time [the 
first time was under Napoleon I] when the tariff bar- 
riers fell in 1860 and she found herself strong enough 
to have no reason to fear any foreign competition." So 
the economic prosperity of Alsace-Lorraine during Ihe 
last fifty years,— little as it has been, — of which Ger- 
man propagandists have made so much, is, according to a 
German official professor, not due to German sovereignty 
but began before the annexation, and, as Stehelin sus- 
pected, would unquestionably have increased at least 
quite as noticeably under French rule. Kiener declares 
that " the formation of the higher Alsatian bourgeoisie, 
destined to become the nursery of energetic souls," dates 
from the period of Napoleon I. (Coquet, Z. c, pp. 221- 
223.) Alsatian prosperity is due to the steady develop- 
ment of the country from the time of the French Revolu- 
tion. Tte famous D. M. C. cotton, made at Mulhouse, 
was known throughout the world long before 1870. 
Mulhouse was a free republic until 1798, when it vol- 
untarily entered the French nation. In that year 
this republic had a population of 5,000 and but few in- 
dustries of importance. At the time of the annexation 


of Alsace to Germany, seventy-eight years later, the 
population had increased from 5,000 to well over 50,* 
000, and the city had become one of the important in- 
dustrial centres of Europe. (Eeybaud, in Bevue des 
Deux Mondes, November 1, 1872, p. 228.) The de- 
velopment of other Alsatian cities during the first 
seventy years of the nineteenth century is c«ily less 
striking than that of Mulhouse. (See Weill, pp. 
106 ff.) 

After the reannexation of Alsace to Prance, certain 
delicate economic readjustments will be necessary to 
facilitate the return of Alsatian industries to the French 
markets. However, little diflSculty will be encountered. 
Radical changes in production have not been made in the 
provinces since 1870. Lorraine iron and Alsatian 
textiles will find as ready a sale in France and elsewhere 
as before. Alsace's surplus in agricultural producta 
will be welcome in France, and Germany will still have 
need of Ihem. It has been said that Alsatian wine-mak- 
ers will be ruined, but Alsace consumes about as much 
as she produces, and the excess will still be exported, as 
in the past, bearing Bhine-wine labels. 

For many years before the present war the Chambers 
of Commerce of Alsace-Lorraine unanimously demanded 
drastic modification of the tariff by which they were 
prevented from seeking markets in France. If Alsace 
were really benefited by inclusion in the ZoUverein, 
and if she had economic reasons for avoiding a return 
to France, she would not thus emphatically have in- 
sisted upon the removal of barriers between her and the 
old fatherland. (Coquet, Z. c, p. 222.) 

Has the inclusion of Alsace and Lorraine in the 
Zollverein proved of as much benefit to them as it has 
to Germany? Have they profited therefrom? Would 
they not have been much more prosperous in 1914 if 


they had continued under French rule ? Would they 
not profit enormously, economically as well as morally, 
by a return to their former economic sphere ? 


That AlsacQ has lost greatly in population and im- 
mensely in industrial prosperity by die annexation of 
1870 is seen to be incontestable, if we compare the 
figures representing her condition today with the most 
conservative possible estimate of what her normal life 
during the last fifty years would have been, had it been 
passed under French rule. 

The reason for this loss is twofold: first, the exodus 
of her capable men and a large portion of her capital 
to France; second, and more important, the systematic 
economic persecution inflicted uW>er by Germany. 
" The truth is," says Coquet, in the important study in 
the Bevue politique et pwrlementaire frequently quoted 
here, " that Alsace and Lorraine were never so rich as 
under the French administration, and never so abomin- 
ably exploited and sacrificed as under the German 
regime." From the economic as well as from the ad- 
ministrative point of view, Germany has treated Alsace 
and Lorraine as conquered provinces, as colonies. Their 
economic prosperity was regularly subordinated to that 
of Germany. ^^ 

In 1904 an Alsatian prospector discovered fabulously 
rich potash deposits in the region northwest of Mul- 

11 The Kolnische Volkazeitung, in its issue of March 9, 1916, 
combating the proposal to annex Alsace to Prussia, argues that 
the result would be a disaster to Alsace, and advances, among oth- 
ers, the following reason: ''The economic advantages held up 
as a bait are but a delusion and a snare. . . . The railways of 
Alsace-Lorraine are already in the hands of Prussia, and are man- 
aged in accordance with Prussian interests. Prussia would al- 
ways sacrifice the interests of Alsace to those of her older prov- 


house. It was soon seen that the working of these fields 
would break the North Gterman potash monopoly, which 
held the whole world, including the United States, en- 
slaved. Furthermore, the State was financially inter- 
ested in the German fields. The Beichstag passed the 
law of May 25, 1910, limiting the exploitation of the 
Alsatian fields to a mere trifie.^^ The board of direct- 
ors of the potash company " Amelie " of Wittelheim, in 
a public statement. May 10, 1910, declared that the 
Beichstag law aimed to give a death-blow to the nascent 
Alsatian potash industry with the sole purpose of sub- 
serving the interests of North Germany. (Coquet, I. c, 
p. 218.) 

The Germans, while making the Rhine the most im- 
portand inland waterway in Europe, have been deaf to 
all appeals f oif canalization of die Moselle and the 

In March, 1913, the Messin, published at Metz, says: 
" Under the French regime the canal of the Moselle was 
constructed as far as Metz; nothing has been done in 
the forty-two years following the annexation. The same 
is true of the Sarre. . . . Since the annexation Prussia 
has done nothing to link our water-courses with the canal 

12 See L. Gouvy, " La Potasse en Haute-Alsace," Journal dea 
Economistea, v. 48, 1915, pp. 379 flf. 

IS The work on the Rhine was done for the benefit of German 
ports, as we have seen, and the Alsatian port, Strasbourg, was 
criminally sacrificed. At the end of 1871 the Strasbourg CHiam- 
ber of Commerce asked for the creation of a lateral canal to the 
Rhine, which should extend from Strasbourg to Ludwigshafen, a 

?ort in Bavaria opposite Mannheim in Baden. Mannheim and 
lUdwigshafen feared the competition of Strasbourg and Bavaria, 
and Baden had no difiiculty in causing the rejection of the Alsa- 
tian request by the Imperial government. Alsace thereupon 
planned to accomplish the enterprise alone. The preliminary 
studies had not been completed, when, in 1890, a Baden engineer 
proposed instead a regulation of the flow of the river which would 
permit navigation during most of the year. This project offered 


system of interior Prussia, and in the direction of the 
industrial regions of Westphalia. There is only one 
explanation for this neglect; it is that at Berlm the 
economic interests of the annexed provinces are held of 
little account, as if in the imcertainty of a lasting pos- 
session it seemed undesirable to risk expenditures when 
the receipts might be lost in the future." (Coquet, I. c, 
p. 214.) 1* 

less advantage to Alsace than to Baden, but, since Baden and 
Bavaria would share the expense and time would be saved, the 
Alsatian LondeactuaMchuM requested the Governor to enter into 
negotiations with the other two states. Eight years were con- 
sumed in exchanges of views and plans. Finally, an agreement 
between Al8ace-Ix>rraine and Baden was signed, November 28, 
1901; Baden was to pay 40% of the expenses. But the Baden 
Chamber modified its government's agreement, consenting to pay 
30% of the expenses on condition that the Alsatian-Lorraine rail- 
roads should mcrease their rates. The Strasbourg Chamber of 
Commerce declared the conditions unacceptable and returned to 
the project of a lateral canal. Bavaria was ready to agree to al- 
low the use of one of its ports, Sondemheim, when Baden, feeling 
again that Mannheim was menaced, began to object and brought 
its influence to bear against the plan with the usual success. The 
Emperor one day expressed to the Mayor of Strasbourg his dis- 
gust at all the pother about ''the stupid canal." The Alsatian 
administration refused to enter into conmiunication with Bavaria, 
as the Landeaausachuaa requested, the Under-Secretary of State 
for Public Works appealed to by the Strasbourg Chamber of Com- 
merce refused to have anything to do with the canal, the Gover- 
nor ignored similar invitations and requests from the Landeaaua- 
achiiaa and from the Chamber of Commerce. (Delahache, p. 170; 
L^n, Fletwea, Canawp, Chemina de Fer, 1903, p. 186. For fiirther 
details, see L(eon, in Annalea de O^graphie, v. 12, 1903, pp. 67- 

14 When the Reichstag was considering the credits asked for 
the canalization of the Moselle, a Prussian deputy said : '* It 
would be very imprudent to go to that expense, mien the work 
is finished, France will demand Lorraine of us, and we shall have 
lost thirty millions.'' These words provoked hilarity, but jests 
frequently have a way of showing in what direction a mind is 
tending. (Hinzelin, p. 158.) On the generosity of the State 
toward Prussian rivers and its hostility to the canalization of 
the Moselle and the Sarre, see Auerbach, in Revue politique et 
parlementaire, v. 54, 1907, p. 352. 


The writer of an article in the Frankfurter Zdtung, 
under date of August 8, 1909, protests that the indus- 
trial development of Lorraine is hampered by insufficient 
railroad communication and reminds the authorities that 
economic rapprochement must precede political rap- 
prochement. He says that the German press talks con- 
stantly in magnificent language of the firm attachment 
of Alsace-Lorraine to the Empire, without realizing that 
there exists in the provinces a general discontent in view 
of Imperial indifference to their economic needs. 

The Journal d' Alsace-Lorraine, under date of August 
27, 1910, protests violently against the German policy 
of sacrificing the railroads of the annexed provinces to 
the prosperity of German railroads. " For forty years 
the Empire has been despoiling us," the writer declares, 
" with no other right than the right of might. . . ." 
(Coquet, I. c, pp. 214r-216.) 

Various projects^ purely commercial in character, 
aiming to bring French and Alsatian markets nearer to- 
gether by means of a tunnel in the Vosges, were vetoed 
at Berlin. The Chinese Wall erected between Alsace 
and France was intended to act not only as a moral 
barrier to further the interests of Germanization, but 
also as an economic/barrier to force the conquered prov- 
inces into the Zollverein. Alsatian Chambers of Com- 
merce protested in vain. (Coquet, Z. c, p. 216.) 

The following somewhat amusing, but significant, in- 
cident is illustrative of the high-handed measures in 
which the German rulers of Alsace-Lorraine are prone 
to indulge in order to show that Alsace-Lorraine be- 
longs, not to the Alsatians and Lorrainers, but to the 
Empire. A certain fund provided by taxes levied in 
the Reichsland is at the disposal of the Governor for 
use in various works of benefit to the inhabitants (en- 
couragement of the arts, travelling scholarships, etc.). 


It was suddenly discovered that 300,000 francs of this 
had been used to swell the too meagre popular subscrip- 
tion for the monument of William I to be erected on the 
Kaiserplatz in Strasbourg. An outcry was raised,^* 
and the money was finally restored to its original pur- 
pose. (Delahache, p. 167 ; Antony, in Revue des Sci- 
ences politiqueSj v. 27, 1912, p. 255.) 

Armand Koechlin, member of an eminent family of 
Alsatian manufacturers, in 1908 explains as follows 
the lack of progress in the cotton industry, the most im- 
portant industry in Alsace : " The new administration 
seemed at certain moments to have assumed the task of 
impeding the working of industrial and commercial en- 
terprises. Refusals of permits of residence, wholesale 
expulsions, arrests and imprisonments for the most 
trifling reasons, at different times deprived the work- 
shops, the offices and the management of factories of a 
considerabla number of experts, often indispensable." 
(Quoted by L6vy, U Industrie Cotonniere en Alsace, 
1912, p. 90.) 

" In the matter of public works," says Laugel, deputy 
in the Landesausschuss, " contractors from all Germany 
come to compete with the native contractors, and it is 
very rare that they do not carry off the prize, while Al- 
satians and Lorrainers who should go and offer their 
services in the German countries would be pitilessly 
scratched off the list of bidders. Every year the Landes- 
ausschuss protests against such abuses, every year the 
Government declares it has already remedied the state 

18 " The DiapoaitioiMfond, administered by the Governor, is to be 
used for the general welfare of the country. It would be an im- 
proper use of theM funds to employ so large a sum for a monu- 
ment. ... If it was not possible to amass a sufficiently large 
amount for the monimient of William I by voluntary subscrip- 
tion, it would have been better to give up the project." {Frank- 
furtet Zeitung, August 17, 1905, quoted by Delahache, I.e.) 


of affairs, every year the same facts are reproduced, re- 
sulting with fatiguing monotony in the same com- 
plaints." (Revibe politique et paaiementaire, v. 57, 
1908, p. 249.) 

" After the commerce of Alsace had been ruined by 
the annexation and the custom-house tariffs of 1879," 
says Helmer, in the Nineteenth Century (February, 
1918, p. 237), " the annexed country might perhaps, at a 
later date, have shared in the great economic develop- 
ment of contemporary Germany. But once more Alsace 
was regarded as a conquered country, whose interests 
were^no importance compared with Lse of the people 
of Germany. When the Government and the local au- 
thorities were not definitely trying to ruin Alsatians, as 
in the Graffenstaden affair, they neglected the obvious 
interests of the country in favour of German interests, 
as was the case when the Rhine improvements were 
carried out, and nearly always when names were sub- 
mitted for governmental or departmental posts. The 
economic crisis, therefore, became a permanent condi- 
tion. Tte material condition of Alsace, throughout her 
connection with Germany, may not have been abso- 
lutely stationary, but was none the less inferior to that 
of the neighbouring countries on both sides of the fron- 

That Alsace was not considered as forming an integral 
part of the empire, and that Alsatians were looked upon 
as foreigners whose prosperity must not be allowed to 
prejudice the prosperity of real Germans, is clearly 
shown by the Graffenstaden incident. The German 
minister in charge of railroads demanded that the man- 
ager of the Graffenstaden Locomotive Works be dropped, 
under pain of cancellation of Government contracts. 
Since all railroads were in the hands of the Govern- 
ment, the choice was simply between dismissal of the 


manager and ruin. The manager was accused of propa- 
gating pro-French sentiments among the employees, but 
in April, 1912, sufficient evidence was adduced to con- 
vince the legislature of Alsace-Lorraine that the sole 
purpose of the minister's intervention was to hamper the 
industrial activity of GrafFenstaden in the interests of 
German factories.^** After the GrafFenstaden affair a 
general boycott of old Alsatian houses was instituted. 
Many important Alsatian companies transferred their 
business to France. The Strasbourg Neue Zeitung, on 
July 3, 1913, deploring this emigration of capital, de- 
clared it had been calculated by competent experts that 
since the annexation capital to the amount of nearly a 
billion francs had passed over into France, ^^ to the great 
detriment of our industry, which is decliiiing slowly and 
without cessation." (Coquet, I. c, pp. 216-217.) 

So, a year before the outbreak of the present war, Al- 
satian industry " is declining slowly and without cessa- 


The Graffenstaden affair was only the first move in a 
project which aimed to secure Gen/an ownership of im- 
portant industrial and commercial enterprises. Al- 
ready almost all orders for supplies paid for out of 
public funds were reserved for houses across the Khine. 
The plan to drive out French, Swiss and even Alsatian 
capital involved also the Germanizing of the personnel. 
In 1912 the Alsatian Chambers of Commerce had been 


t^ The Alsatian Chamber of Deputies unanimously passed the 
following motion: "The Chamber blames most energetically the 
government [of Alsace-Lorraine; i.e., the Covernor and the Min- 
•ister of the Interior] for its manner of acting in the question of 
the Graffenstaden factory. It demands that in the future the 
ffovemment defend Alsatian-Lorraine interests and do all within 
its power to repair the injury caused the Qraffenstaden factory." 
(Hinzelin, p. 142.) 


ordered to prepare reports on foreign capital invested in 
Alsatian factories, and also on foreigners employed 
therein. The Swiss government had to intervene at 
this time to protect its citizens who were threatened with 
expulsion from the Reichsland. (Wetterle, U Alsace- 
Lorraine doit . .. . , p. 161.) 

Kreuzkam, in his article in the JaJirbiicher fur Na- 
turned Oekonomie (1910, pp. 660 flf.), shows that the 
Prussian iron kings had already gradually acquired the 
iron fields of Lorraine. 

All the iron industry, except the establishments at 
Hayange, is in the hands of Germans. The valuable 
oil well at Pechelbronn passed into the possession of a 
German stock company in 1906. Three-fourths of the 
potash concessions are owned by Germans. (Vidal de 
la Blache, La France de VEst, 1917, p. 224.) At 
the beginning of this chapter, we found the Rheinisch- 
Westfalische Zeitung cataloguing the economic re- 
sources of Alsace-Lorraine as follows: 1) the Pechel- 
bronn oil well, " the only important oil well in Ger- 
many"; 2) the potash deposits; 3) the Lorraine ironl 
All of these sources of wealth had been captured by 
German capital before 1914. Alsace had had capital 
with which to finance these interests, but it had been 
driven out — across the border' into France — to make 
room for German control. 


In the infamous memorandum left at his death in 
April, 1917, General von Bissing wrote: "Germany 
is strong enough, and it is to be hoped that, especially 
after this war, she will have plenty of efficient men to do. 
in Belgium, in the interest of Germany, what unfortu- 
nately was not done in Alsace-Lorraine. Surely we 
shall have learned from the mistakes that were made, 


and we shall never again have recourse to the vacillating 
policy of conciliation which was so disadvantageous not 
only in Alsace-Lorraine but also in Poland. . . . 

" Expropriation is absolutely necessary, in order to 
prevent such a state of things as has existed in Alsace- 
Lorraine to the present day. . . . Half measures and a 
middle course must be condemned most of all.'' {Cwr- 
rent History, February, 1918, p. 330.) 

The Memorial of the six most important agricultural 
and industrial associations of Germany, addressed to the 
Chancellor, May 20, 1915, reads in part as follows: 

"Belgium . . . must be subjected to German im- 
perial legislation. . . . After transferring to Germans 
the economic enterprises and possessions that are im- 
portant for the domination of the country, its govern- 
ment and administration must be so conducted that the 
inhabitants shall obtain no influence upon the political 
destinies of the German Empire. . . . After our ex- 
periences in Alsace-Lorraine it is probably self-evident 
that in these acquisitions also (Belgium, Northern and 
Eastern France) the people of the annexed districts are 
not to be put in a position to obtain any political influ- 
ence upon the destinies of the German Empire, and that 
the economic resources to be found in these districts, 
including medium oad. large land-holdings, are to be 
put into German hands, with an arrangement that 
France shall indemnify and take care of the former 
proprietors." {Out of their own Mouths, p. 123.) 

A petition to the Chancellor was voted at a meeting of 
professors, diplomatists and higher officials in active 
service, held in Berlin, June 20, 1915. It was circu- 
lated as " a strictly confidential manuscript," and it was 
signed by three hundred and fifty-two professors of uni- 
versities and special schools of the same rank, one hun- 
dred and fifty-eight school teachers and clergymen, one 


hundred and forty-eight judges and advocates, two hun- 
dred and fifty-two artists, writers and publishers, and 
many others. The petition said : " To avoid such con- 
ditions as exist in Alsace-Lorraine, the enterprises and 
possessions that give economic power are to be trans- 
ferred from hostile to German hands, the previous own- 
ers being taken over and compensated by France. To 
the part of the population that we take over, no influ- 
ence whatever in the Empire is to be conceded." (Out 
of their own Mouths, p. 61.) 

Germany is already taking steps to remove in the 
Beichsland also the inconvenience of " such conditions 
as exist in Alsace-Lorraine." In every respect the con- 
quered provinces are being treated as are Belgium and 
Northern France, in other words, as enemy country. 

Thousands of denationalizations have taken place to 
legitimate the sequestration of fortunes. Alsatians and 
Lorrainers who had fled to Switzerland, even the old and 
incapacitated, have been ordered to return home under 
penalty of the confiscation of their property. ( Wetterle, 
UAUace-lA>rraine doU . . . , p. 46.) ^'^ The German 

17 The following is published by an " Alsatian " in the Gazette 
de tautawne of August 2, 1917: ''The Grerman govermnent has 
just added another to the numerous injustices inflicted upon Al- 
satians and Lorrainers. All those who have been forced to desert 
Alsace-Lorraine to escape prosecution and annoyances are menaced 
with the sequestration and liquidation of tiieir property. 

"It is remembered that on February 1, 1916, an Imperial de- 
cree ordered every Alsatian and Lorrainer who had left his home 
since the beginning of the war, to return immediately. This de- 
cree is a part of the program of * cleaning with an iron broom ' 
which the Grerman administration is employing pitilessly to purge 
the Reichsland of elements hostile to it. Prison, fines, exile to 
Germany and other measures of the same kind are reserved for in- 
habitants who have remained in the country; for the others the de. 
cree cited above was imagined. If they obey, they suffer the 
lot of their compatriots who have not left; if they remain abroad, 
they are declared to have lost their German nationality. 

", . . This measure ... is applied to include not only men of 


interpretation of the word " sequestration " is fixed by 
Behm, Professor of Law in the University of Strasbourg, 
appointed sequestrator in five affairs. "It is within 
the right of the German administrator," he says, " to do 
injury to the interests of the enterprises entrusted to 
him in order to force the enemy countries to release 
German properties from sequestration. • . . The domi- 
nating principle which administrators should obey is to 
injure, not to preserve." (Eccard, pp. 71, 184.) ^® 

military age but also women, old men and children. . . . Alsatiang 
who were past military age were first expelled from the country, 
then ordered to return, then denationalized, and finally provided 
with a fictitious domicUe in Alsace for purely fiscal reasons. 

"The Reichaanzeiffer publishes regularly the lists of denation- 
alized Alsatians and Lorrainers; they number several thousands up 
to the present time." 

The above is quoted in an article in the Journal du Droit inter' 
national, v. 44, 1917, p. 1700, the author of which continues as 
follows : 

''A decree of the German Bundesrat, dated July 12, 1917, 
goes still further. The text is as follows : ' Decrees concerning the 
enforced administration of French enterprises . . . and those con- 
cerning the liquidation of British enterprises are declared ap- 
plicable to the property of persons who, in virtue of the law on 
nationality of July 22, 1913 [the celebrated Delbrttck Law], have 
been declared to have lost Grerman nationality.' " 

The distinguished Alsatian lawyer Eccard says: ''The few 
women and old men, who, out of fear of reprisals, decided, over- 
whelmed by terror, to return, did not (with few exceptions) suc- 
ceed in reaching their homes. Some, adjudged to have committed 
one of the numerous crimes against the fatherland punishable ac- 
cording to German law, were incarcerated; others, simply sus- 
pected, were placed imder surveillance; others were deported to 
the interior of Germany, where, constantly under the eye of the 
police, they have been assigned a domicile." (Eccard, p. 116.) 

ISA German administrator wrote toward the end of 1916: "I 
am in no sense a conservatory sequestrator. It is true that I do 
not administer properties in the interest of the owners, but I was 
not appointed for that purpose. The Government has instructed 
me to administer the properties of foreigners in the interest of the 
economic life of the Carman Empire." (Eccard, p. 198.) 

The decrees of the Grerman Bundesrat determine the rights of 
administrators, but do not speak of their obligations, beyond pre- 


The Societe Alsacienne de Constructions mScaniqnes, 
involving capital to the amount of 13,500,000 francs, 
was compelled to submit to the authority of German ad- 
ministrators, who dismissed all the managers and fore- 
men, and are running the business at a loss. The year 
1914-1915 brought a loss of 269,000 marks, whereas 
the returns of the preceding year showed a clear profit of 
740,000 marks. (Eccard, p. 184.) 

Large German associations have been formed with 
Government encouragement for the purpose of buying 
up Alsatian and Lorraine properties held by natives or 
by French or Swiss capitalists. Such properties may, 
of course, be had very cheap nowadays, in view of the 
facts presented above. The " conditions which exist in 
Alsace-Lorraine," to the scandal of Von Bissing, and of 
352 professors, 158 school teachers, 148 judges, etc., 
will not obtain after the war. 

On Jime 17, 1918, the following appeared in Amer- 
ican newspapers, communicated by Henry Wood, of 
the United Press : 

" German papers have just reached the French front 
by way of Switzerland containing notices of the first 

scribing that receipts in excess of expenditures are to be deposited 
in the Reich eha/nk. (Eccard, pp. 56, 73 ff.) 

An official French circular of instructions to sequestrators reads 
in part as follows : " It must not be lost from view that the se- 
questration of proper.ties belonging to German, Austrian and 
Himgarian subjects has not, and cannot in any case assume, the 
character of a measure of spoliation; sequestration does not pro- 
ceed from the idea of confiscation, and, far from tending directly 
or indirectly toward expropriation, it must, in conformity with 
the intentions of the Grovemment, r^nain always ccmservatory." 
(Eccard, p. 56.) 

The Vienna Neue Freie Presse said on August 15, 1916: "In 
the application of measures of sequestration in France, the purely 
oonserratory character of these measures has been observed up 
to the present; according to news just received, the administra- 
tion 0% properties under sequestration is carried on loyally and 
correctly." (Eccard, p. 180.) 


ofBicial steps toward colonization of Alsace-Lorraine by 
Gterman emigrants, and especiaUy by German veterans 
of the present war. 

" Under the auspices of a newly created organization 
known as ^ The Rural Society, Limited, of the Western 
Frontiers,' it is proposed to replace the native popula- 
tion of Alsace-Lorraine, which has been systematically 
dispersed since the begi^ing of the war, with a Germ^ 
population, much as Polish inhabitants of Eastern 
Prussia and Posen who remained faithful to the Polish 
national aspirations were supplanted by Germans. 

"Application for a charter that would permit the 
colonization of Alsace-Lorraine by Germans was made 
last August to the German government by ^ The Society 
for Internal Colonization ' and ^ The Association for 
Agrarian Reform.' The project has just been realized, 
as is indicated by the following announcement in a 
recent copy of the Strassburger Post: 

" ^ Today there was inscribed on the register of com- 
merce the "Rural Society, Limited, of the Western 

" * The society is destined : 

" * First — ^ To purchase and sell farms, especially in 
the Lorraine country bordering on the frontier. 

" ^ Second — To colonize these farms with men espe- 
cially chosen from amongst those who have participated 
in the war. 

" * Third — While working purely within economic 
bounds, the society nevertheless must not lose sight of 
the public utility of its character. 

" * Fourth — The original capital of the society is 
7,500,000 marks. The administration will be directed 
by Hans Meydenbauer, of Berlin, superior secret coun- 
cillor of finances.' 

" Since the beginning of the war, the native popula- 


tion of Alsace-Lorraine has been dispersed in an as- 
tounding manner. First of all, there were thousands 
who fled across the frontier in order to take up arms 
with France when the war broke out. Still other thou- 
sands fled to Switzerland and other neutral countries. 

" All of those who have refused to return have been 
denationalized by Germany, and their property has been 
confiscated. Those who remained fared little better, for 
practically every one suspected of having French sympa- 
thies has been evacuated into the interior of Germany, 
while others whose sympathies for France were out- 
spoken have been imprisoned. In hundreds of these 
cases the property has been confiscated by the German 
government." (Cf. also Le Temps, May 6, 1918.) 

A special cable to the Christia/n Science Monitor 
(July 15, 1918), dated Amsterdam, recounts the pro- 
tests against this colonization scheme made by various 
deputies at a meeting of the Main Committee of the 
Reichstag on July 11. " Progressive speakers," says 
the dispatch, " remarked that the company^s foundation 
was characteristic of the way politics were made in 
Germany, and declared that the Fatherland Party and 
big manufacturers had the ear of the army command, 
which should not, however, be permitted to decide what 
was to happen in peace time. Herren David and Erz- 
berger referred to the opposition to the colonization 
policy in Alsace-Lorraine itself, the latter remarking 
that the idea clearly was to prepare for the annexation 
of the provinces by Prussia," 

th]B; consent op the governed 

German arguments have an inconvenient habit of fly- 
ing back and giving Germany a fillip on the ear. If 
Alsace and Lorraine would face economic ruin were 
they detached from the ZoUverein, why have we found 


that Alsatians and Lorrainers almost unanimously de- 
mand re-annexation to France ? Several solutions may 
be offered: 1) it is true, as Treitschke said in 1871, 
that "we Germans know better what is good for the 
Alsatians than they do themselves"; or, 2) the Alsa- 
tians feel sure that their economic prosperity would 
not be impaired by a return to France; or, 3) so deep 
is the love of Alsace and Lorraine for France, so intense 
their hatred of Germany, that they are willing to sacri- 
fice their economic welfare provided they be allowed to 
secure that happiness which they can find only by the 
annulment of the Treaty of Frankfort. 

It is certain that there is on economic grounds no rea- 
son to oppose the choice of the Alsatians. And, after 
all, it is evident that they are the most vitally concerned, 
that the essential question is not the wish of Germany, 
nor of France, but of Alsace and Lorraine. 

Moreover, economic questions may easily be given too 
much weight ; they may blind us to the real issues. Ger- 
many has no right to Alsace and Lorraine, she has 
abominably exploited them, they have been and are still 
wretched under German rule, they demand release. We 
Ain^ricans, who entered this war with what we think are 
the most unselfish motives that ever in the history of the 
world prompted a nation to take up arms, we surely will 
join Alsatians, Lorrainers and Frenchmen in the decla- 
ration that economic questions and problems of expedi- 
ency, material considerations, are of no moment when 
confronted with the primary issue — justice. It hap- 
pens, however, that in this case economic interests coin- 
cide with higher interests; Alsace and Lorraine pros- 
pered before 1870, under French rule; they have not 
prospered and they have been wretched under German 
rule ; they will prosper more than ever when they are re- 
stored to France, and they will be happy and contented. 



We Americans are inclined to feel that all questions 
of nationality may be settled by a consultation of the 
people involved, by a plebiscite. Such an escape is im- 
possible in the case of Alsace-Lorraine. 

There can be not the slightest doubt that a plebiscite 
would result overwhelmingly in favour of France if it 
could be held with absolute fairness. France is unal- 
terably opposed to a plebiscite because she cannot trust 
Germany, and particularly because the whole issue is to 
her a moral one, and the acceptance of the principle of a 
plebiscite would be tantamount to a recognition of the 
justice of the Treaty of Frankfort, — not at all because 
she doubts that Alsatians and Lorrainers almost with- 
out exception would vote in her favour* 

Since 1871 Germany has refused to consider the Al- 
sace-Lorraine question. " There is none ! '^ she has 
magnificently continued to say. She says it still. ^ 

" There is no Alsaice-Lorraine question in an interna- 
tional sense, as I have said before," declared Chancellor 

1 At the various peace congresses of the last thirty years, Grer- 
many has regularly refused to consider this problem, despite the 
prayers of the representatives of various nations who saw in the 
unsettled condition of the captive provinces the seed of a future 
war. (See La Paix par le Droit, passim.) It is most amusing 
to hear the Germans declare now that the annexation of fifty years 
ago belongs to history and must not be discussed. In 1870 when 
the Flren(£ declared that the annexation of 1652, over 300 years 
before, belonged to history, Germany refused to listen. 



Hertling in the Eeichstag on February 25, 1918, while 
discussing President Wilson's conditions of peace. 

All parties in Germany are agreed that the considera- 
tion of the question at a general peace conference is un- 
thinkable. The Majority Socialists follow the more 
conservative parties, except that they ask for the es- 
tablishment of Alsace-Lorraine as an autonomous state 
within the Empire; this, however, they insist is an 
affair which concerns Germans alone. Only the Minor- 
ity Socialists recognize the iniquity of the Treaty of 
Frankfort, in this following Bebel and the two Lieb- 
knechts, — the whole line of real Socialists, in fact, — 
and demand a fair plebiscite, emphasizing the word fair. 
But the ranks of the Minority Socialists are fast being 
depleted by imprisonment and flight to Switzerland. 

Even if Germany should agree to a plebiscite, thel 
obstacles in the way to a just settlement by this means 
are insurmountable. A few may be stated here. 

Who is to have charge of the voting ? Not Germany, 
nor France, of course. Would any neutral undertake 
the ungrateful task? Would Switzerland? Would 
Switzerland risk making of Germany or France a per- 
manent enemy? Would she care to endanger her own 
unity by setting at loggerheads her own population, ' 
ethnically divided already between France and Ger- 
many ? 'is any combination of nations for this purpose 
possible ? What good would a commission do ? Thou- 
sands of officials scattered throughout the country would 
be necessary. 

This would be no ordinary election. The stake is so 
great that it is a refinement of cruelty to force it upon a 
people, for there will be no diance of concealment ; every 
man must show openly whether he is in favour of France 
or in favour of Germany. Then, if France wins, thou- 
sands of citizens — if there are so many in favour of 


Germany — who could have accepted French rule with- 
out scandal will be convicted of pro-Gtermanism and be 
forced to leave the country or to live there despised. 
If Germany should win, the lot of those who showed 
their preference for France can be imagined. 

Is the country to vote as a whole? Necessarily so, 
for otherwise we might find a piece of France sur- 
rounded by German territory, or a piece of Germany 
in the heart of France. It is impossible that Alsace 
and Lorraine should vote separately. Let it not be for- 
gotten that TJpper^Alsace, linguistically the most Ger- 
man portion of the two provinces, is the most pro-French 
portion. In Lorraine we should find the same diffi- 
culty; Metz, the great city of the province, in which 
there were no Germans before 1870, was before the pres- 
ent war predominantly German as a result of emigra- 
tion and immigration, but the surrounding country is 
almost as French as ever. The provinces must vote as a 
whole, and we should clearly risk carrying the whole 
country in one direction or the other by a large vote in 
particular localities. It might well be that the Ger- 
mans could control the city vote to such an extent that 
the majority in the four large cities would win against 
French majorities in all the rest of the country. 

It is not difficult to see how the Germans might win 
in the large cities and in all the rest of the country too. 
A fair plebiscite, whoever may act as umpire, is an 
utter impossibility when Germany is one of the parties 
concerned. Whatever improvement dreamerfl may im- 
agine realizable in the German character as a result 
of defeat or democratization, nothing can change the 
present rulers of Germany, or any rulers of Germany 
in the immediate future, to such an extent as to render 
them unwilling to make use of their system of espionage, 
the marvel of the age, and nowhere so efficient as in 


Alsace. Free speech would be banned ; and a plebiscite 
would be a fraud if it was not preceded by a thoiv 
oughly unhampered discussion of the issues. Every 
man who intended to vote for France would be known 
to the Oerman secret agents. Every such man would 
receive threats of reprisals. Every such man would 
know that if Germany won he woiild have to go into 
exile. Such terrorization would unquestionably be ef- 
fective. It has already been effective. The German 
pall is settling fast over Alsace^ and it will be years 
after the war is over before fear of German vengeance 
leaves the hearts of the people. Terrorization is effect- 
ive when it continues relentlessly for four years and 
more. Open intimidation such as could be detected by 
the umpire would not be necessary, considering the ab- 
ject state of the population today, and open intimidation 
is never necessary for Gtermany, whose skill in working 
in the dark has been triumphantly exemplified in Eussia, 
to say nothing of other countries. France might try 
the same game, but France would be a mere novice pitted 
against the greatest master of underhand methods the 
world has ever seen. 

Alsace is terrorized today. Her leaders are gone. 
Emigration between 1871 and 1914 had already taken 
her most energetic sons and daughters; after me out- 
break of war tens of thousands more of her most capable 
citizens fled to France. Thousands more have been de- 
ported or imprisoned. There remain at large only 
those whom Germany has no reason to fear, either on ac- 
count of their natural supineness or on account of a 
more or less complete acceptance of the Teutonic ideal. 
Alsace is without her leaders. German terrorization has 
been allowed free scope and its effect will be felt for 
years. Is a plebiscite acceptable under such circum- 
stances ? 


Who is to vote ? Will the twenty thousand and more 
young Alsatians who have fled to join the French army 
since the declaration of war be allowed to return to 
vote ? Of course they must be allowed to do so, unless 
they have already cast their ballots by giving their lives 
on the field of battle. Will those who emigrated before 
the war to escape the Gterman yoke be permitted to ex- 
press their will ? If not those who left the country be- 
tween 1870 and 1890, how will it be with those who 
emigrated after 1890 and the thousands who left after 
1900 ? They have established their residence in France, 
but they did so on account of a criminal treaty which 
the very fact of the institution of a plebiscite declares 
null and void; and many of them were driven from 
their home by dastardly persecution. They would re- 
turn to Alsace, many thousands of them, if Alsace be- 
came French again. Could one refuse them a vote? 

What of the Immigrants? What of the thousands, 
well over a hundred thousand, who are in Alsace as func- 
tionaries or sons of functionaries, and who have no at- 
tachment for the land ? In a question of this sort con- 
cerning our North and South, would the Carpet^Baggers 
have voted? Leave the functionaries, the Oarpet-Bag- 
gers ; they certainly must not vote ; what of the Squat- 
ters? 2 Good Alsatiaiis are driven from their country 
by an iniquitous treaty which our plebiscite annuls, and 

8 Douglas proposed in 1854 to leave the question of the intro- 
duction or exclusion of slavery in each territory to the territories 
themselves. Lincoln characterizes this "Squatter Sovereignty" 
as follows {Works, v. 1, p. 249): "What was Squatter Sov- 
ereignty? I suppose, if it had any significance at all, it was 
the right of the people to govern themselves, to be sovereign in 
their own affairs while they were squatted down in a country not 
their own, while they had squatted on a territory that did not 
belonff to them, in the sense that a State belongs to the people 
who inhabit it — when it belongs to the Nation — such right to 
govern themselves was called Squatter Sovereignty." {Outlook, 
January 2, 1918, p. 11.) 


the Squatters seize their land and their electoral rights 1 
If emigrants and immigrants are eliminated, the elec- 
tion will be settled by the least intelligent citizens of the 
land, the best Frenchmen having departed between 1871 
and 1914 and the best Germans being the Squatters. 

A plebiscite, as has already been intimated, would set 
the French and German elements — and consequently 
France and Germany — against each other in an an- 
tagonism even more bitter than that existing today. 
The harvest of hatred it would engender would rack the 
unhappy provinces for generations. At the Congress 
of Socialists at Wiirzburg in October, 1917, Miiller, one 
of the leaders, declared that a plebiscite in Alsace-Lor- 
raine was impossible during the war, and that if it was 
to be put off until after the war it would be the worst 
calamity that could happen, for, from the day peace was 
signed until the day on which the plebiscite was held, it 
would be the pretext for the unbridling of passions both 
in France and in Germany. {Le Temps, October 18, 
1917.) In Alsace-Lorraine the riot of passions would 
be worse still. 

The plebiscite is not, as we sometimes hopefully 
imagine, a panacea for political ills. Its purpose is to 
obviate friction between powers claiming a given terri- 
tory. It is effective when public opinion is not in- 
flamed, and when the stake is not too great, but at a 
time like the present, when theoretically it should prove 
its greatest utility, it cannot be resorted to, since it would 
not, however it resulted, assure lasting peace. A plebis- 
cite in Alsace-Lorraine would be futile. It would not 
settle for all time this vexed question, for such a ques- 
tion cannot be settled so easily. If Germany won now, 
would France cease to hope that in another hundred 
years or so history might reverse the verdict? If 
France won, would Germany declare herself satisfied ? 


A truce, not peace, would follow. A league of nations 
may guarantee the eternity of the settlement, hut leagues 
of nations are the handiwork of man. The handiwork 
of man is never eternal. It is most nearly so, however, 
when it is in conformity with justice, and if the plebis- 
cite resulted in favour of France, a league of nations 
might insure a certain permanence; but a plebiscite 
which gave Alsace to Gtermany would be a denial of 
justice, for Alsace is French, Lorraine is French, the 
people of both provinces desire to be French ; a plebiscite 
which would make them German would not represent 
the will of the people and would have been decided by 
illicit means and foul play — Germany's chosen 

The sanctity of the idea of a plebiscite should not be 
accepted without consideration of all that is involved in 
the establishment of so far-reaching a rule for interna- 
tional conduct. Powers are delegated to the elected 
representatives of a people for the express purpose of 
avoiding not only the delay but the uncertainty of 
popular consultations. If the question of our entering 
the war had been submitted to the people of the United 
States in a referendum, we probably should be enjoying 
the dubious benefits of peace today. We elected our 
President and our Congress to be guided by their judg- 
ment, which is fortified by investigations and enquiries 
beyond our opportunities; England, too, would doubt- 
less not have entered the war until too late if a pre- 
liminary plebiscite had been required. 

Lord Bryce writes in regard to the ratification of our 
Constitution of 1789 : " Had the decision been left to 
what is now called ' the voice of the people,^ that is, to 
the mass of the citizens all over the country, voting at 
the polls, the voice of the people would probably have 
pronounced against the Constitution, and this would 


have been still more likely if the question had been 
voted on everywhere upon the same day, seeing that 
several doubtful States were influenced by the approval 
which other States had already given. But the modem 
* plebiscital ^ method of taking the popular judgment 
had not been invented. The question was referred to 
conventions in the several States." {The American 
Commonwealth, 1910, v. I, p. 26.) 

gebmant's pbepabation pob a plebiscite 

When Glermany^s armies have been sufficiently bat- 
tered, her leaders will demand a plebiscite as a last 
chance to retain the French provinces. 

Would she accept the result ? 

In the first place, if she agreed to hold a plebiscite, 
would she keep faith? Article 5 in the Treaty of 
Prague, which terminated the war between Prussia and 
Austria in 1866, reads as follows : " His Majesty, the 
Emperor of Austria, transfers to His Majesty, the King 
of Prussia, all the rights over the Duchies of Schleswig 
and Holstein granted him by the Treaty of Vienna in 
1864, provided that the population of tiie northern dis- 
tricts of Schleswig shall be restored to Denmark if they 
express a desire for that union by a popular vote.^^ In 
violation of this article, the population of Schleswig has 
never been given an opportunity to express its will by a 
popular vote. Germany can hardly expect the world to 
have any confidence in her promises. A centuries-old 
contempt for treaties as " scraps of paper ^' has blunted 
her political sense. 

Maximilian Harden, the impetuous editor of the 
powerful Zvkwnft, indisputably has a habit, as the edi- 
tors of Conquest and Kvltur (p. 12) declare, of say- 
ing " in a keen and incisive-manner what many Germans 
are thinking.^^ Harden was at one with tiie rest of 


Grermany in the declaration that Alsace and Lorraine 
must always remain Oerman, until suddenly last year 
(1917) statements began to appear in his paper in which 
he affirmed the necessity of a radical reconsideration of 
the status of the provinces ; finally he arrived at the in- 
sidious proposal that a plebiscite be held three years 
after the signing of peace — under German supervision, 
of course ! (New York Nation, January 31, 1918, p. 

If Harden's plan were followed, and if by a miracle, 
even in spite of Gterman terrorization, the provinces 
should vote in favour of France, is it conceivable that 
Germany would accept the result? Harden's sugges- 
tions of a reconsideration of the Treaty of Frankfort 
b^an to appear in 1917. One year before, he had 

" If people think in France that the reestablishment 
of peace is possible only through the restoration of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, and if necessity compels us to sign such 
a peace, the 70,000,000 of Germans will soon tear it up, 

" Moreover, nothing would be less difficult for Ger- 
many, thanks to the effective force of Central Pan- 
Germany, than to seize Alsace-Lorraine again, very 
shortly, having given it up momentarily as a tactical 
manoeuvre." (Quoted by ChSradame, in Atlantic 
Monthly, December, 1917.) 

Treaties are to the Germans either " scraps of paper " 
or " tactical manoeuvres." 

But Germany could not be defeated in a plebiscite 
conducted according to the plan suggested by Harden, 
nor according to any plan thus far suggested, — except 
one, of which I shall speak presently. She hooted at 
the idea of " self-determination " throughout the nine- 
teenth century ; she still rejects it with regard to Posen, 
where sixty per cent, of the population is Polish, and in 


Nortt Schleswig (despite her agreement), where the 
Danes greatly predominate. But a few months ago we 
found her declaring that the Eussian Baltic Provinces 
must be allowed the right of "self-determination," a 
right which had suddenly become a sacrosanct principle 
of international law so far as Eussia is concerned, but 
not yet for Poland, North Schleswig, Alsace-Lorraine, 
Trent, Trieste and the Balkans ! We found out a few 
months ago what Germany meant by " self-determina- 
tion." The Eussian army must be withdrawn, said 
General Hoffmann, — upheld by his superiors, — and 
the German army must remain while the provinces make 
their decision. That is " self-determination " accord- 
ing to the German code. All of this Eussian territory 
is now under the German flag, and, unless the western 
allies rescue it, there it will remain, despite the fact that 
in Courland, the most German of the provinces, less 
than nine per cent, of the population is German. 

Cohn, a Socialist Deputy, declared in the Eeichstag 
on Eebruary 22, 1918: "It is not correct to say that 
the people of Eussia's Baltic provinces are longing for 
German rule." (Quoted in American newspapers.) 
His statement proves, first, that the German govern- 
ment is trying to convince its people that Courland and 
the other provinces desire German rule, and, second, 
what we know perfectly, that this is a lie. 

If Germany accepts the idea of a plebiscite in Alsace- 
Lorraine, we may be sure she will prepare for it in such 
a manner as to insure her success. She is already pre- 
paring for such an eventuality in Belgium and in 
Northern France. According to press dispatches in 
American newspapers of January 10, 1918, Chancellor 
Hertling admits that northern France must " have the 
right of self-determination on the question of restoration 
to France " 1 


The significance of this cynical deviltry must be fully 
weighed by every man who proposes a plebiscite in 
Alsace-Lorraine. French publicists recognize that a 
plebiscite in Lille today, or at any future time under 
German rale, would Wt in a victory for Germany. 
Lille, before the war as French as Eheims or Marseilles, 
is to have " the right of self-determination on the ques- 
tion of restoration to France " ! 

There is no doubt as to how Germany achieves such 
happy popularity in conquered territories. 

The statement of a German official in Alsace-Lorraine 
to Stoddard Dewey, a few years before the war, — " he 
was not an evil man and liked to show that he could 
speak French," says Dewey, — has already been quoted : 
" We have been absolute masters here forty years, and 
we are further from reconciling the natives to our rule 
than ever. I do not believe it will ever be done until all 
natives of Alsace and Lorraine are driven out and the 
country is settled anew with bona fide Germans." 
(New York Nation, February 1, 1917, p. 127.) 

German plans to rid Belgium (and presumably North- 
em France) of unwilling citizens of the empire have 
been quoted here. " There is to be no Alsace-Lorraine 
question in Belgium." 

The following is an Associated Press dispatch, dated 
Geneva, May 4, 1918, and published in American eve- 
ning papers on that day : " The German military au- 
thorities are sending direct to the front lines all youths 
from the reserve depots in Alsace-Lorraine, according 
to an Alsatian chemist who has just arrived here from 
Miilhausen [Mulhouse]. The chemist already has lost 
four sons, the latest, aged 18, having been killed at 
Locre, in the Flanders battle. 

" ^ The Germans are employing their last reserves,' 
said the Alsatian, ' especially the soldiers from Alsace- 


Lorraine. It is the Gtennan maimer of settling the 
question o£ the two provinces. If a referendum is taken 
after the war, only a few Alsatian electors will be lef t.^ " 

" If a referendum is taken after the war, only a few 
Alsatian electors will be left.^' When Germany ac- 
cepts the idea of a plebiscite in Alsace-Lorraine, she will 
prepare for it in a ghastly manner: by intimidation, 
espionage, terrorization, deportation, imprisonment, ex- 
ecution — all beyond the control of any possible umpire 
or group of umpires after the war, for the simple rea- 
son that these measures of preparation will have been 
brought to fruition during the war, wre now being 
brought to fruition. 

Americans who still dally with the Utopian notion of 
a plebiscite in Alsace-Lorraine are encouraging Ger- 
many to prepare for it, and the persecution of the prov- 
inces will continue with increasing fury until all the 
world declares that, however few Alsatians may be left 
after the war, those few are to become Erenchmen again 
without let or hindrance. 


Various solutions of the problem aside from owner- 
ship by Gtermany or France have been suggested : auto- 
nomy within ike German Empire, annexation to 
Switzerland, division between Germany and France, 
complete autonomy. The first two of these are clearly 

Division between Germany and France is impossible, 
since, as all observers have agreed, whether the division 
is made from north to south or from east t^ west, the 
parts will contain equal portions of pro-French and pro- 
German sympathizers. If a division were made on the 
basis of language, the result would be no more happy, 
for, as we have seen, it is those parts of Alsace which 


are most German Jinguistically that are most hostile to 
Germany, and in Lorraine Germany would not consent 
to such a partition, for it would leave the valuable iron 
mines on the French side of the boundary. 

Before the war France and Alsace-Lorraine were 
ready to accept neutralization, — or even mere autonomy 
within the Empire, — but all that belongs to the past ; 
war, which such a solution was to avoid, came through 
Germany's criminality, and there is no longer any rea- 
son for France or Alsace-Lorraine to put up with the un- 
satisfactory alternative of neutralization. 

Many Alsatians thought, even before the war, that 
neutralization would mean economic ruin. (See Nys- 
trom, p. 56.) There can be no doubt that the financial 
and industrial situation of a little state lost in the heart 
of Europe would be precarious indeed. 

What benefit could be derived from such a solution ? 
Is it well to test the vitality of a possible future League 
of Nations from which we all hope so much by enhancing 
the danger of a Franco-German cladi? For, were Al- 
sace and Lorraine neutral, they would — much more 
than if they were a part of Germany or of France — be 
a battle-ground, economically, financially, socially ; and, 
eventually, at the first opportunity, the flame of war 
would again burst forth. 

Who would guarantee the neutrality of Alsace-Lor- 
raine? Those powers which guaranteed the neutrality 
of Belgium? 

And, as we have seen, Alsace and Lorraine do not 
desire neutralization. They claim the right to return 
to France. Even under German rule for fifty years 
they have remained as French as they were in 1870. 
Almost every German who has ever discussed the con- 
dition of the provinces has admitted that, but for the 
Draconian regulations of a pitiless government, the prov- 


inces would become within a decade^ or a generation at 
most, more French than ever. Neutralization would 
result in a few years in the complete Gallicization of the 
country. One prominent Alsatian said : " If we are 
neutralized, we shall make war on France- and she will 
have to annex us " — another of those jests which adum- 
brate the truth. A few years after neutralization the 
whole population would d^nand the privilege of re- 
entering the French nation. But the League would be 
forced to deny the request, for if the treaty did not 
stipulate that under no circumstances could the neu-^ 
tralization be revised, the possibility of a subsequent 
plebiscite would, in the uncertainty of future sover^ 
eignty, inevitably prove banefuL The door would be 
closed to great industrial undertakings which could bear 
fruit only after many years ; and the pro-French and pro- 
Gterman forces would be roused to that atrocious overt 
and covert internecine war which would make life a 
hideous dream. 

There is one form of plebiscite which would minimize 
though it would not eliminate the dangers outlined 
above. Let Alsace and Lorraine be restored to France 
as they were given over to Germany in 1871; three 
years later let them elect representatives to the French 
Parliament, as they sent deputies to the Reichstag in 
1874; and let their fate be decided by the first pro- 
nouncement of those men to whom they will have de- 
livered their mandate.' 

s This is virtually the proposal of the Interallied Labor-Social- 
ist Conference which sat in London, February 21-23, 1918, as later 
amplified by leaders. The declaration of war aims there ratified 
contains the following clauses in regard to Alsace-Lorraine: 
** The conference declares that the problem of Alsace and Lorraine 
is not one of territorial adjustment, but one of right, and thus an 
international problem, the solution of which is indispensable if 
peace is to be either just or lasting. 

" The Treaty of Frankfort at one and the same time mutilated 




The advocates of a plebiscite in the case of Allsace- 
Lorraine overlook the fact that this question has its 
roots in history and cannot be treated solely on the basis 
of present events. However much it would simplify 
the world's problems, it is superficial to brush aside the 
complications accumulated in a century or two of inter- 
national strife and to heed exclusively the conditions ob- 
taining at this moment. 

Alsace and Lorraine never belonged to Germany. 
They became French piecemeal from 1552 on. They 
were happy and prosperous under French rule. In 
1870 Germany set out on a war of conquest and seized 
them. The treaty of peace which terminated this war 

France and violated the right of the inhabitants of Alsace and 
Lorraine to dispose of their own destinies, a right which thej have 
repeatedly claimed. 

*' The new treaty of peace, in recognizing that Germany, by her 
declaration of war of 1014, has herself broken the Treaty of 
Frankfort, will make null and void the gains of a brutal conquest 
and of the violence committed against the people. 

" France, having secured this recognition, can properly agree to 
a fresh consultation of the population of Alsace and Lorraine as 
to its own desires. 

" The treaty of peace will bear the signatures of every nation 
in the world. It will be guaranteed by the League of Nations. 
To this League of Nations France is prepared to remit with the 
freedom and sincerity of a popular vote, of which the details can 
be subsequently settled, the organization of such a consultation 
as shall settle forever, as a matter of right, the future destiny of 
Alsace and Lorraine, and as shall finally remove from the com- 
mon life of all Europe a quarrel which has imposed so heavy a 
burden upon it." {Current History , April, 1918, p. 109. For 
Thomas's and Renaudel's significant articles publidied in the Lon- 
don Daily Chronicle, see Current History , March, 1918, p. 490; Le 
Temps, January 28, 29, 1918.) The French Socialists in demand- 
ing the return of Alsace-Lorraine have consistently rejected the 
idea of a plebiscite before the act; in 1915, by a vote of 2,736 to 
76; in February, 1918, by 2,618 to 218. 


is morally invalid : because the war was a war for con- 
quest, a kind of war no longer accepted as legitimate in 
Europe since the beginning of the nineteenth century; 
because it was forced upon a prostrate foe who was 
menaced with utter destruction if he did not sign ; be- 
cause it was a violation of the elementary rights of man 
in that it disposed of men " like cattle " ; because it has 
never at any moment since the day of signing been 
recognized as valid either by Alsace-Lorraine or by 
France; and, finally, because it was annulled by Ger- 
many's unprovoked declaration of war against France 
in 1914. 

Alsace-Lorraine is the Belgium of 1871. Were Ger- 
many fully successful in the present war, she would 
annex Belgium. Suppose she were successful and did 
annex Belgium, and that fifty years from now the pow- 
ers of light prevailed over the powers of darkness, what 
would be the feeling of those of us who might happen to 
be living then, were it declared that the liberation of 
Belgium must be sanctioned by a plebiscite? 

Germany defied every principle of law and right in 
1871. She stole Alsace-Lorraine with no pretence of a 
consultation of the popular will, and against the practi- 
cally unanimous protest of the inhabitants. Is it just to 
give her fifty years in which to consolidate her theft, 
and then decide the fate of the country by a referendum 
— after the emigration and immigration and persecu- 
tion of half a century ? 

Fifty years ago all Alsace and all Lorraine protested 
against the spoliation which tore them from France. 
For fifty years in the face of relentless persecution, all 
Alsace and all Lorraine, with negligible exceptions, have 
kept alive the protests of 1871 and 1874. Does this not 
constitute plebiscite enough? All Alsace and all Lor- 
raine have for fifty years been demanding the annulment 


of the Treaty of Frankfort. Is this not plebiscite 
enough? It was the wars against Denmark and Aus- 
tria, and particularly the one against France in 1870, 
that created the Gterman faith in force which " unsettled 
the peace of the world for nearly fifty years/^ made 
militarism a cult in Germany and afforded the world 
the sordid spectacle of a nation of "philosophers" 
coldly calculating whether the annexation of a slice of 
territory or the exaction of a huge indemnity was the 
more profitable achievement ! The Treaty of Frankfort 
debased the political sense of the Germans by obliterat- 
ing in them every recognition of the rights of peoples to 
" self-determination." 

A plebiscite now would sanction the annexation with- 
out plebiscite of fifty years ago, the most monstrous as- 
sertion of the right of might in the annals of modem 
history. When the question of annexation was forcibly 
raised in 1871, a plebiscite was, in all justice, manda- 
tory ; because Gallicization in the provinces had been the 
work of time, and had been completely effective. A 
plebiscite today is unthinkable because it would consti- 
tute a justification of an act of brigandage, and because 
Germanization in the provinces has been, not the work 
of time, but the result of immoral coercion, and has been 
egregiously imsuccessful and ineffective. 

Let it not be forgotten that France and Alsace-Lor- 
raine have not the slightest fear of the result of a plebis- 
cite if it could be conducted without danger of fraud. 
But they refuse to consider such a solution of the prob- 
lem, for to them the issue is a moral one, and they have 
steadily kept it on that high plane. 

Alsace-Lorraine is a symbol. This war is being 
fought to discredit militarism, to prove that war for con- 
quest is no longer to be counted in the normal mardi of 


events, that nations, great and small, must be permitted 
to go their way unmolested. 

The restoration of Alsace-Lorraine to Erance is the 
test of victory. It will right the most grievous wrong of 
the nineteenth century, and it will be an announcement 
to all future generations that militarism does not pay, 
that pacification by coercion, economic or other, has 
no justification, that governments derive their only just 
powers from the consent of the governed, that democ- 
racy, not autocracy, must be henceforth the order of the 



All the liberal countries of Europe unanimously de- 
mand that at the next treaty of peace Alsace and Lor- 
raine be restored to France. Opinion in the United 
States is not so clearly defined, but more and more each 
day is it becoming evident to us here, too, that one of 
the most vital issues of the war is the question of the an- 
nulment of the Treaty of Frankfort. 

President Wilson said to Congress on January 8, 
1918 : " All French territory should be freed and the 
invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France 
by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, 
which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly 
fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may 
once more be made secure in the interest of all." 

Our President has interpreted these words — if they 
need interpretation — in a telegram to Clement Rueff, 
Vice-President of the American Association of Alsa- 
tians and Lorrainers, published in the New York Times, 
February 14, 1918 : 

" May I not thank you very warmly for your generous 
message of January 9, and express the hope that the 
New Year may realize for Alsace-Lorraine the hopes de- 



(Includiiig only those titles which are abbreviated in the 


D. Bluhenthal, Alsace-Lorraine, New York, 1917. 

G. Delahache, La Carte au lis^r^ yert» 1911 (cited as 

L'Exode, 1914 (cited as Delahache, "UExodtf'). 
J. DuHEM^ La Question d' Alsace-Lorraine de 1871 k 1914, 

F. EccABD, Biens et Interets f ran^ais en Allemagne et en 

Alsace-Lorraine pendant la Ouerre, 1917. 
Florent-Matteb, L' Alsace-Lorraine de nos Jours, 1908. 
A. FbmouBG, Lefl Martyrs d' Alsace et de Lorraine, 1916. 
0. D. Hazen, Alsace-Lorraine under Glemian Bule, 1917. 
P. A. Helmeb, Alsace under German Bule, in^The War of 

Democracy, The Allies' Statement, 19i?ii 

E. HiNZBLiN, L' Alsace sous le Joug, 1913 (cited as Hinzelin). 

CoBurs d' Alsace et de Lorraine, 1913 (cited as Hinzelin, 
"CcBurs" . . .). ^ 

David Starr Jordak, Alsace-Lorraine, 1917. 
M. Lerot, L' Alsace-Lorraine, Porte de France, Porte d' Alle- 
magne, 1914. 
H. Marinoer, Force au Droit, 1913. 

F. Matter, Bisnmrck et son Temps, 1908. 

J. Novicow, L' Alsace-Lorraine, Obstacle h I'Expansion alle- 
mande, 1913. 

A. Ntstr5m, L' Alsace-Lorraine, 1903 (translated from arti- 
cles in the Stockholm Aftonhladet, August-October, 

R Reuss, L' Alsace au dix-septi^me Siecle, 1897-1898 (cited 

as Beuss). 

Histoire d' Alsace, eleventh edition, 1916 (cited as 

Beuss, " Histoire '')• 

La France et L' Alsace k travers FHistoire (cited as 

Beuss, '^ La France et L' Alsace ")• 



Q. Weill, L'Alsaoe francaise de 1789 h 1870, 1917. 

Abbb E. Wetterle, Oe qu'^tait 1' Alsace-Lorraine et oe qu'elle 
sera, 1916 (cited as Wetterle, " Oe qu'^tait . . .^). 
L' Alsace-Lorraine doit rester fran^aise, 1917 (cited as 
Wetterle, " L* Alsace-Lorraine doit . . .**)• 

W. WimcH, Deutsche und franzosische Kultur in. Elsass, 
Strasbourg, 1901 (cited from the French transla- 
tion in Bevtis intemaiianale de Sodologie, v. 10, 
1902, w)w 777-824, 867-907). 


Alsaoe, success of France in as- 
similation of people of, 25; 
happiness and prosperi^ of, 
under French sway, 25-28; 
effect of French Revolution 
on winning of, for France, 
28-i30; generals from, in Na- 
poleon's armies, 30; feeling 
in, toward Germany's taking 
over of country in 1870, 32- 
33; officers in French army 
since 1871 who were natives 
of, 95-96; hampering of in- 
dustries of, by Germany, 

Alsace-Lorraine, hasis of Ger- 
many's claims to. Iff.; claim 
of right of former possession, 
1-6; claim based on natural 
boundary, 6; racial claim, 6- 
7; claim based on common 
language, 7-17; composition 
of population of, 13 n.; Ger- 
many's claims to, compared 
with her claims to Belgium 
and Switzerland, 17-18; real 
justifications of Grermany's 
claims to, 18-23; as the 
pledge of unity of the Ger- 
man Empire, 23; right of 
might exercised by Germany 
toward, 24; assimilation of 
people of, W France, 25 ; dec- 
laration of deputies of, in 
National Assembly at Bor- 
deaux (1871), 34-36; Protest 
of Bordeaux (March 1, 1871), 
37; Protest in Reichstag 
( 1874 ) , 38-4 1 ; persecution 
of inhabitants by German 
rulers, 44 ff.; character of 


constitutional rights granted 
to, by Grermany, 44-47; acts 
of repression, 47; the teach- 
ing of French, 47-49; further 
repressive measures, 49-60; 
the question of autonomy, 
61-76; statistics of emigra- 
tion from, 61 n. ; continued 
love of, for France, 77-78; 
antipathy of people and Ger- 
man Immigrants, 78-80; part 
played by women of, in re- 
sistance to Germanism, 82- 
85; threat of annexation to 
Prussia, 88; recognition of 
people of, as French, 90-92; 
conditions of country and 
people during the war, 93 ff.; 
treatment of soldiers from, in 
Grerman army, 96-105; treat- 
ment of civilians during war, 
1 05-1 1 ; condemnations of 
citizens, 110-114; German 
economic propaganda in, be- 
fore the war, 126-127; com- 
parative lack of prosperity of, 
imder Grerman rule, 127-128; 
increase in taxation in, 128- 
131 ; rate of increase of popu- 
lation in, compared with that 
of German states, 131-134; 
possibilities of industrial de- 
velopment under French di- 
rection, 143-147 ; economic 
persecution of, by Grerman 
rulers, 147-153; Germaniza- 
tion of property in, before 
and after outbreak of war, 
153-160; question of a plebi- 
scite, 162-173; question of 
division or neutralization of. 



173-175; restoration of, to 
fVance the test of victory in 
the war, 176-179 ; unanimous 
demand by liberal countries 
for restoration of^ 180. 

Atrocities, German, in Alsace- 
Lorraine during the war, 

Austria, rights of, to heritage 
of Holy Roman Empire, 3; 
relations between Germany 
and, 3 n. ; disdain felt by, for 
rights of people to determine 
their own destinies, 33. 

Autonomy, question of, for Al- 
sace-Lorrame, 61 ff. ; purpose 
behind Alsatian riequest for, 
63 ; Germany's refusal of, 63- 
64; insistence of demand for, 
in 1900, 69; reasons for Ger- 
many's refusal of demand for, 
70-76 ; effect of the war upon 
Alsatian desire for, 93-95. 

Baudin, Pierre, cited on Galli- 
cization of German Immi- 
grants, 81. 

Bebel, Augusti protest of, 
against German seizure of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 4 n. 

Beer, production of, in Alsace 
in 1872 and 1906, 140. 

Belgium, Germany's claim to, 
17-18; General von Bissing's 
memorandum as to treatment 
of, 154-155; comparison of 
fate of Alsace-Lorraine with 
possible fate of, 177. 

Bethmann-HoIIweg, Chancellor, 
quoted on constitution of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 45; on failure 
of Grerman methods in con- 
quered provinces, 89. 

Bismarck, Prince Otto von, re- 
suscitation of Holy Roman 
Empire by, 3-4; quoted on 
Germany's reasons for taking 
Alsace-Lorraine, 19-20; de- 

termination of, to crush 
France, 20; policy of blood 
and iron followed by, in 
treatment of Alsace-Lorraine, 
50-54 ; dissuaded from annex- 
ing conquered provinces to 
Prussia by fear of Alsatian 
democratic instinct, 70. 

Bissing, Greneral von, references 
by, to Germanization of prop- 
erty in conquered countries, 

Blood-and-iron policy used by 
German rulers of Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 50-54. 

Blumenthal, Daniel, Mayor of 
Colmar, 16. 

Briey basin, iron production in 
the, 120; Germany's intention 
to hold, 121-124. 

Bryce, James, qubted on Holy 
Roman Empire, 3; on ratifi- 
cation of American Ck>nstitu- 
tion, 168-169. 

Budget of Alsace - Lorraine 
(1870-1914), 128-131. 

Bulach, Zom von, chief minis- 
ter of Alsace-Lorraine, 60; 
Alsatian love for France ad- 
mitted by, 78. 

Burger, Alsatian lawyer, story 
of, 109. 

Canals, sacrifice of projects for, 
in Alsace-Lorraine, 148-149. 

Caprivi, attitude of, toward Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 52. 

Charles of Austria, Emperor, 
letter of, to President Poin- 
car^ (1917), 3n. 

Children of Alsace-Lorraine, 
punishment of, by Germans 
during the war, 113. 

Clergy of Alsace-Lorraine, se- 
vere treatment of, during the 
war, 111-112. 

Colmar, German element in pop- 
ulation of, hut pro-Frendi 



feeling in, 15; Daniel Blu- 
ment£il Mayor of, 16; rate 
of increase in population of, 

Cblonization of Alsace-Lorraine 
by Germans, since opening of 
war, 158-160. 

Condorcet, Constitution drafted 
by, in 1791, 36 n. 

Constitution of 1911, granting 
of, to Alsace-Lorraine, 44-45 ; 
no relief brought by, 67. 

Cotton industry, lack of prog- 
ress in, in Alsace, 151. 

Coulanges, Fustel de, quoted, 

Crispi, Bismarck's reply to, con- 
cerning neutralization of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 21. 

De Lisle, Rouget, 29. 

Democratic principles, natural 
to people of Alsace-Lorraine, 
70; received with sympathy 
from Germany, in form of 
Social-Democracy, 91-92. 

Deportations enforced in Alsace 
during the war, 116-118. 

Deschanel, Paul, cited on depor- 
tations of Alsatians and Lor- 
rainers, 116 n. 

Division of Alsace-Lorraine be- 
tween Germany and France, 
impossibility of, 173-174. 

Economic necessity as a justifi- 
cation of Germany's claims to 
Alsace-Lorraine, 21-22. 

Economic question in annexa- 
tion, discussion of, 119-161. 

Emigration of Alsatians, 61-62. 

England, protection of France 
against Germany by, 20; con- 
trasted with France in ability 
to assimilate alien peoples, 

Erckmann - Chatrian, transla- 

tions of works of, into Alsa- 
tian dialect, 15 n. 

Fassbender, Martin, on assimi- 
lation of Alsatians by France, 
27-28; denunciation of Grer- 
man methods in Alsace by, 

Foerster, Professor, quoted on 
failure of Germanization of 
Alsace, 85 n. 

Foreign Legion, French, Alsa- 
tians in, 96. 

Former possession as a basis 
for German claims to Alsace- 
Lorraine, 1-6. 

Forstner, Lieutenant von, officer 
responsible for Zabern Affair, 

France, basis of claims of, to 
Alsace-Lorraine, 1-2 ; Bis- 
marck's determination to dis- 
member and crush, 19-21; 
success of, in rendering Al- 
sace happy and prosperous, 
25-28; acceptance bv, of idea 
of autonomy for Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 64-67; continued love 

• for, of Alsatians and Lor- 
rainers, 77-78; Alsatians as 
officers in army of, 95-96; in- 
dustrial interest of, in resto- 
ration of her lost provinces, 
125-126; restoration of Al- 
sace-Lorraine to, the demand 
of all liberal countries of 
Europe, 180. 

Franzos, EJarl, quoted on use of 
French language by Alsa- 
tians, 9-10. 

Frederick the Great, quotation 
from, 18. 

French language, the speech of 
leading classes in Alsace, 9- 
12; restrictions on teaching 
of, in Alsace-Lorraine, 47-49; 
continued proscription of use 
of, in conquered provinces. 



56-67; use of, forbidden in 
Lorraine during the war, 110. 
French Revolution, consolida- 
tion of the nation by, 28-30. 

Gallicization of German Inuni- 
grants in Alsace-Lorraine, 

Grenerals, distinguished Alsa- 
tian, 30. 

Germanization, failure of, in 
Alsace-Lorraine, 77-92; of 
property in Alsace-Lorraine, 

Germany, basis of claims of, to 
Alsace-Lorraine, 1 ; claims of, 
to Belgium and Switzerland, 
17-18; real justifications of 
claims of, to Alsace-Lorraine, 
18-21 ; Alsace-Lorraine as the 
pledge of unity of the Em- 
pire, 22-23; the right of 
might exercised by, 24; ina- 
bility of, to assimilate for- 
eign populations, 24; view 
held in, of Alsatians as Ger- 
mans in captivity, 30-31; 
disdain by, of rights of peo- 
ple to determine their own 
destinies, 33; policy of perse- 
cution practised by, toward 
Alsace-Lorraine, 44-60 ; re- 
fusal by, of autonomy to Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 63-64; reasons 
for refusal of, to grant au- 
tonomy, 70-76; failure of 
methods of, in Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 77-92; treatment of 
Alsatian soldiers by, during 
the war, 96-106; treatment 
of civilians by, 106-110; de- 
pendence of, on Lorraine iron, 
119-120; occupation of and 
plan to hold the Briey basin, 
120-124; willingness of peo- 
ple of, to follow their leaders 
in Pan-German plans, 122; 
how industrial prosperity of. 

is at stake, 124-126; eco- 
nomic propaganda of, in Al- 
sace before the war, 126-127 ; 
increase in population in Al- 
sace-Lorraine compared with 
that of states and cities of, 
131-133; refusal by, to con- 
sider Alsace-Lorraine ques- 
tion at peace conferences, 
162; preparations by, for a 
plebiscite concerning Alsace- 
Lorraine question, 169-173. 

GifTen, Sir Robert, on the 
money profits to Germany of 
war of 1870, 22. 

Gladstone, W. E., attitude of, 
toward proposed dismember- 
ment of France by Germany, 
20 n. 

Graffenstaden Affair, the, 67, 

Granville, Lord, protest of, to 
Bismarck, against dismem- 
berment of France, 20 n. 

Hansi, Alsatian artist, lan- 
guage used by, 13-14; im- 
prisonment of, following pub- 
lication of My Village, 60. 

Hapsburgs, rule of, over Holy 
Roman Empire, 3. 

Harden, Maximilian, quoted on 
German claim to Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 4; on the war of 1870 
as a profitable achievement 
for Germany, 22 ; proposal of, 
concerning plebiscite on Al- 
sace-Lorraine question, 169- 

Helmer, Strasbourg lawyer, 
quoted, 65-66. 

HertzQg, chief minister, atti- 
tude of, toward people of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 49. 

Hphenlohe - Schillingsfllrst, 
Prince von. Governor of Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 60. 

Holy Roman ^npire, claim of 



King of Prussia to heritage 
ot, 3-4; Bismarck's seizure of 
crown of, for William 1, 4. 

Ichtersheim, von, tribute to 
French rule in Alsace l^, 26. 

Immigrants into Alsace-Lor- 
raine from Germany, 47; 
conduct of, 54-n65; antipathy 
of Alsatians and, 78-80; Qal- 
licization of, 81-82; as an 
obstacle to a plebiscite, 166- 

Insurance companies, expulsion 
of French, from Alssuee-Lor- 
raine, 65 n. 

Iron, production of, in Lor- 
raine, 22, 119; in the Briey 
basin, 120; Germanization of 
the industry, 154. 

Jordan, David Starr, quoted on 
use of French language in 
Mflhlhausen, lln.; quoted on 
instruction in French in 
Metz, 48-49; letter of Pro- 
fessor Fdrster to, quoted, 
127 n. 

Judges, sentences imposed on 
Alsatians and Lorrainers by 
Qerman, 116. 

Kellermann, General, an Alsa- 
tian, 30. 

Kl^ber, General, an Alsatian, 

Kultur, reffarded by Alsatians 
as sometning alien, 12; reign 
of pioneers of, in Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 54-55; antagonism to, 
of young Alsatians educated 
in German universities, 69 n. 

La Marseillaise, writing of, 29. 

Language, as a basis for Ger- 
man claim to Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 7-17. See aZ«o French 

Lieblmecht, protest of, against 

German seizure of Alsace- 
Lorraine, 4n. 
Lorraine, German element in 
population of, 13 n.; acquisi- 
tion of iron land in, as a 
profitable investment by Ger- 
many, 22; sacrifice of indus- 
trial interests of, to German 
districts, 135-139. 

ManteufTel, Governor of Alsace- 
Lorraine, 49-50. 

Marx, Karl, attitude of, in war 
of 1870, 42 n. 

Metz, reasons for Germany's 
desire for, 19; Romanic or- 
igin and development of 
name, 19 n. ; rate of increase 
in population of, 131; sacri- 
fice of industrial interests of, 
by Gennany, 135-138. 

Military necessity as a justifi- 
cation of Germany's claims 
to Alsace-Lorraine, 18-21. 

Moselle, German neglect of ca- 
nalization of, 148-149. 

Mulhouse, admittance of, into 
French Republic, 2 n. ; rate of 
increase in population of, 
132; sacrifice of industrial 
interests of, to Prussian and 
Saxon cities, 141-143. 

Natural boundary as a basis of 
German claim to Alsace-Lor* 
raine, 6. 

Naumann of Heilbronn, quoted, 

Neutralization of Alsace-Lor- 
raine, impossibility of, 174- 

Newspapers, suppression of, 47. 

Nippold, Otfried, quoted on 
Germany's failure in Alsace- 
Lorraine, 87 n. 

Novicow, Russian observer, 
quoted on failure of attempts 
at Germanization, 85 n. 



Oil produced in Alssoe, 119; 
Gennanization of the indus^ 
try, 164. 

Pan-German achemes, willing- 
ness of wtkole German people 
to follow, 122. 

Passports, introduction of sys- 
tem of, in Alsace-Lorraine, 
50, 52. 

Philippi, Pastor Wilhelm, quot- 
ed on Tirpitz and Jesus, 124. 

Plebiscite, difficulties in way of, 
as regards Alsace-Lorraine, 
162-169; Germany's prepara- 
tion for a, 169-173. 

Plebiscites, disdain of, by Ger- 
many and Austria, 33. 

Population, rate of increase of, 
ia Alsace-Lorraine, compared 
with German states, 131-134. 

Possession, Germany's claims to 
Alsace-Lorraine based on for- 
mer, 1-6. 

Potash deposits in Upper Al- 
sace, 119; limitation of ex- 
ploitation of Alsatian, 147- 
148; German ownership of 
concessions, 164. 

Preiss, deputy from Colmar, 
leader of autonomists in 
Reichstag, 68, 76; quoted on 
resistance of conquered prov- 
inces to Germanization, 86 n. ; 
death of, in G^erman prison, 
94. • 

Protest, of Bordeaux (March 1, 
1871), 37-38; in Reichstag 
(February 18, 1874)^ 38-41. 

Prussia, threatened annexation 
of Alsace-Lorraine to, 88. 

Race, German claim to Alsace- 
Lorraine based on, 6-7. 

Railroads, German sacrifice of, 
in Alsace-Lorraine, 150. 

Refractory Cousin, play by 
StoBskopf, 15 n. 

Reichstag, Protert of deputies 
from Alsaoft-Lorraine in 
(1874), 3S-41; protests of 
Socialists in, against Ger- 
many's treateent of Alsa^ 
tians, 114-116. 

Reuss, Rodolphe, quoted- to 
show that Alsatians > are 
French, 90-91. 

Revenge, passing of French de- 
termination to seek, 64. 

Rhine, the natural boimdary be- 
tween Alsace and Germany, 
6; the natural zone of de- 
fence of German Empire, 21 ; 
necessity of re-estaDlishing, 
as a boundary, 21; Stras- 
bourg deprived of her share 
of traffic of, 134-136. 

Russia, protection of France 
against Germany by, 20. 

Sarre, German neglect of canal- 
ization of the, 148. 

Schmettau, Baron, on loyalty of 
Alsatians to Fiunce, 27. 

Schumacher, Professor, quoted 
on iron fields of Briey oasin, 

Self-determination of nations, a 
hobby of Napoleon m, 33 n. 

Sipp, Abb4, stand taken against 
Germany by, 63. 

Slag, importation of, from Lor- 
raine by America, 119 n. 

Socialists, protest of German, 
against seizure of Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 4n., 41 n.; appearance 
of, in Alsace-Lorraine, 63; 
encouragement of, l^ German 
authorities, 63 n.; success of 
theories of, among Alsatians, 
91; protests by, in Reichstag 
against Germany's treatment 
of Alsatians durmg war, 114- 
116; Crerman Majority So- 
cialists in favour of retain- 
ing Alsace-Lorraine, 123; at- 



titude of Majority and Mi- 
nority, concerning Alsace- 
Lorraine question^ 163. 

Societies, suppression of, in Al- 
sace-Lorraine, 51, 57. 

Society for Protection against 
the Foreign Legion, 96. 

Spsha, Martin, quoted on Alsa- 
tian soldiers in Qennan 
army, 9^100. 

Speisser, Pan-Germanist pas- 
tor, quoted, 71-72. 

Btehelin, Alsatian propagandist 
for Germany, quoted, 126- 
127, 143. 

Stosskopf, play DV Herr Moire 
by, 14 n.; other plays by, 
16 n. 

Strasbourg, date of becoming 
French, 27 ; action of citizens, 
at time of French Revolution, 
2a-29 ; ** La Marseillaise " 
written by Rouget de Lisle 
at, 29; address by students 
of University of, to German 
students, and reply, 30-31; 
siege of, by German army, 
31-32; rate of increase in 
population of, 131 ; actual in- 
crease of population in, com- 
pared with what should have 
been expected, 134-136; 
statue of William I in, 161. 

Switzerland, Germany's claim 
to, 17-18. 

Taxation, increase in, in Alsace- 
Lorraine, 128-131. 

Teutsch, Edouard, speech of, in 
Reichstag (1874), 38--11. 

Textile industry, decrease in, in 
Alsace, 141-143. 

Tirpitz, compared with Jesus, 

Treitschke, pamphlet ** What 
do we demand of France?" 
by, 32-33. 

Unity of German Empire, Al- 
sace-Lorraine as a pledge of, 

Vosges Mountains, the natural 
boundary between Alsace and 
fVance, 6; the natural zone 
of offence of German Empire, 
21 ; veto by Germany of proj- 
ect for tunnel through, 160. 


Water ways, German neglect of, 
in Alsace-Lorraine, 148-149. 

Wedel, Governor of Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 60. 

Werder, German general at 
siege of Strasbourg, 32 n. 

Westphalia, Treaties of (1648), 

Wetterl^, Abb4, attitude as a 
leader of the autonomists, 93 ; 
story of Colmar soldier by, 

William I of Germany, claim 
of, to heritage of Holy Roman 
Empire, 3-4; crowning of, at 
Versailles, 22 ; unveiling of 
statue of, in Strasbourg, 57; 
improper diversion of fund to 
building of Strasbourg statue 
of, 161. 

William II of Germany, no re- 
lief brought to Alsace-Lor- 
raine by accession of, 62; 
angry address of, iii Stras- 
bourg (1912), 88. 

Wilson, Woodrow, quoted, 39 n. 

Wine, reduction in production 
of, in Alsace, 139. 

Wittich, W., quoted on French 
leanings in Alsace, 12; on 
culture of Alsace as French 
and not Grerman, 17; on as- 
similation of people of Alsace 
by France, 25; conclusion of, 
that Alsatians are French, 
90; on success of Social-Dem- 



oeratie theories among Alsa- 
tianSy 91. 

Wolf, George, Alsatian r^e- 
gade, quoted, 73 n. 

Women, part played by Alsa- 
tian, in resistance to Qer- 
manism, 82-85. 

Zabem, originally named "Sa- 

vene,*' 19 n. 
Zabem Affair, the, 58-60; effect 

of, on antipathy of Alsatians 

and Grerman Immigrants, 80. 

Zi^ler, Theobald, quoted on 
Aench rights to Alsace-Lor- 
raine, 7-8; recognition of Al- 
satians and Ix>rrainers as 
French by, 90. 

Zislin, Alsatian artist, lan- 
guage spoken by, 13-14; car- 
toons by, 14 n. 

ZoUverein, effects on economic 
advance of Alsace-Lorvaine of 
inclusion in, 143-147. 


JUNl 192e 


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